For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 21, 2019
Contact: Office of Public Affairs (202) 482-3809
WASHINGTON – Last week, Commerce's Office of the Business Liaison Director Patrick Wilson and members of the International Trade Administration's (ITA) Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) embarked on a two-day (October 16-17) supply chain efficiency transportation tour at the U.S.-Mexico border in Laredo, Texas. Wilson and committee members also participated in the quarterly meeting of the ACSCC, where the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) and the enormous benefits it will provide to U.S. companies were discussed.
"Once approved by Congress, the USMCA will rebalance trade on our continent to once again benefit American producers by eliminating red tape at the border that often hinders small- and medium-sized businesses seeking to sell their products in Mexico," said Wilson. "Additionally, it will aid in leveling the playing field for U.S. manufacturers by raising standards, improving transparency and prohibiting anti-U.S. discrimination from foreign governments."
In addition to partaking in the ACSCC meeting the group participated in tour stops that included the Laredo International Airport Federal Inspection station, the federal inspection station at the World Trade Bridge, and a visit to Werner Enterprises, the largest cross border transportation provider to and from Mexico. The last stop of the tour was a group trip on the Kansas City Southern Railroad, showcasing the role of transportation in the supply chain and its importance to binational trade.
Through the committee's stops on the tour, local government officials and ACSCC business members spoke highly of the USMCA agreement and the projected positive impacts of the agreement:
City of Laredo Economic Development Director, Teclo Garcia: "USMCA's full ratification will provide modernizations and improvements to trade sectors key to Laredo such as auto content, electronics and produce. Laredo, has the nation's busiest inland port crossing of about 16,000 trucks a day, handled $234 billion in trade that employs thousands locally. We look forward to adoption of the USMCA as it will provide business a sense of stability and a way forward for more trade, planning and profitably."
IBM Director of Supply Chain Innovation Strategy and Operations, Member of ACSCC, Shari Diaz: "Supply chains are now mission-critical systems for all businesses to drive success and profitability. The USMCA contains 'gold standard' provisions on digital trade that will ensure supply chain and other business data can move securely between the three countries, prevent the creation of new trade barriers in cyberspace and provide strong protections for businesses' most valuable intellectual property. USMCA raises the bar for promoting and expanding the digital economy through 21st century trade policy, and IBM joins the many voices calling on Congress to ratify the agreement."
UPS Vice President, Global Customs Policy, Member of the ACSCC, Norm Schenk: "The new USMCA will help to take time, cost and complexity out of North American trade. The pact will be great for the United States and our allies by improving customs regulations, spurring the growth of e-commerce, and supporting the participation of more small businesses, particularly women-owned businesses and rural-based entrepreneurs, in regional and global supply chains."
The ACSCC provides the Secretary of Commerce with detailed advice on national freight infrastructure and freight policy to support U.S. supply chain and export competitiveness and further the Trump Administration's export, economic, and job growth goals.