New England Council, Business & Industry Association of NH Applaud Senator Hassan’s Support for the Trade Deal
To watch the Senator’s remarks during the Senate Finance Committee markup, click here.
WASHINGTON – Citing the benefits to New Hampshire businesses, workers, and consumers, as well as improved labor and enforcement standards, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today voted to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) during a Senate Finance Committee markup. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over trade policy, and today’s vote marks the next major step forward in consideration of the deal.
“In terms of competition, the USMCA boosts American businesses by modernizing our current trade agreement, which pre-dated internet commerce, to protect the flow of digital trade and to better safeguard intellectual property. The agreement also cuts red tape for small exporters by allowing electronic filing of customs forms, an important provision for a small business state like New Hampshire.” Senator Hassan said. “In addition…the deal cuts costs for small businesses by increasing the share of shipments to Canada and Mexico with duty-free status. Further, the USMCA removes long-standing trade barriers that have prevented dairy farmers in New Hampshire and other states from accessing the Canadian market.”
The USMCA is supported by key business groups in New England.
Business & Industry Association of NH President Jim Roche said, “BIA is pleased Senator Hassan supports the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. This is an important trade pact for New Hampshire businesses, particularly manufacturers and technology companies. Our North American neighbors make up the state’s largest trading bloc. Approval of USMCA will protect jobs and maintain New Hampshire’s access to a $1.4 billion market.”
New England Council President & CEO Jim Brett stated, “The importance of trade with Canada and Mexico for New England cannot be overstated, and USMCA will be a huge boost for our region’s economy. In 2018 alone, New Hampshire exported just over $1 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico – $13 billion for our region – and trade with these two nations supported tens of thousands of jobs in New Hampshire. Whether it’s protecting intellectual property, ensuring data can flow across borders, or implementing strong enforcement measures, businesses throughout New England will benefit from USMCA and we are grateful for Sen. Hassan’s support.”
During her remarks at the Senate Finance Committee today, Senator Hassan also highlighted USMCA provisions that protect workers, consumers, and the environment: “When it comes to enforcement, the bipartisan deal that Democrats negotiated with the Administration contains major improvements to the agreement.” Senator Hassan specifically cited “a strong labor enforcement mechanism, which helps remove incentives that would otherwise encourage the outsourcing of jobs,” the removal of “provisions that would have shielded brand-name drugs from competition,” and “funding for environmental protection and measures to help ensure that the Administration follows through with enforcement of environmental provisions.”
When the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the possible agreement last summer, Senator Hassan questioned former Agriculture Secretary and current President & CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Tom Vilsack, on the importance of strong enforcement mechanisms of the dairy provisions impacting New Hampshire farmers, as well as the impact the USMCA would have on New Hampshire’s small businesses.