Trump signs USMCA into law; ATA hails agreement, commends president

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President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after signing a new North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, during an event at the White House Wednesday. Trump's impeachment trial is shifting to questions from senators, a pivotal juncture as Republicans lack the votes to block witnesses and face a potential setback in their hope of ending the trial with a quick acquittal. (Associated Press: EVAN VUCCI)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump Wednesday signed into law a major rewrite of the rules of trade with Canada and Mexico.
Trump said the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces what he calls the “nightmare” of a Clinton-area agreement that governed trade among the three countries.
Trump made renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a priority during his 2016 campaign.
American Trucking Associations leaders hailed the signing here ATA President and CEO Chris Spear and 12 professional truck drivers from ATA member companies were in attendance.
“Today’s signing ceremony is the beginning of the next phase in our strong and productive relationship with Mexico and Canada,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA and our members are proud to have been engaged throughout the process, attending the ministerial conferences and working with the administration and our trucking partners in Canada and Mexico to shape this final outcome. We commend President Trump for making this a top priority of his presidency and seeing it through to completion.”
Trump said the agreement encouraged factories to leave the United States and relocate south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican labor.
He says the new deal with Canada and Mexico will keep jobs, wealth and growth in America.
Experts say the impact will be modest, given that Canada and Mexico already represent the top two export markets for U.S. goods.
But the pact Trump signed Wednesday, along with a “phase one” agreement with China, dials down trade tensions that contributed to slowing economic growth globally.
Trump has been eager to show off a big policy win during his impeachment trial by signing the new trade agreement into law.
Spear said the new agreement is projected to increase annual U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico by a combined $33 billion above the current NAFTA baseline. The agreement is also expected to increase U.S. GDP by $68 billion, stimulating broad sectors of the economy that the trucking industry serves, like agriculture and manufacturing.
The following professional truck drivers—members of America’s Road Team—were in attendance, representing a combined 33.2 million safe-driving miles throughout their collective careers: Ina Daly, XPO Logistics; Steve Fields, YRC Freight; David Green, Werner Enterprises;
Rhonda Hartman, Old Dominion Freight Line; John Lex, Walmart Transportation; Don Logan, FedEx Freight; Charlton Paul, UPS Freight; Dion Saiz, FedEx Freight; Russ Simpson, Holland; Dee Sova, Prime Inc.; Tony Spero, ABF Freight System and Derrick Whittle, Cargo Transporters
In 2018, trucks moved more than $770 billion worth of goods between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and transnational trade between the three countries supported roughly 90,000 U.S. jobs in the trucking industry—including 60,000 truck drivers. Those figures should only increase as USMCA is implemented.
“Trucks move 70% of all freight in the U.S. and 76% of the freight that moves between the U.S. and our closest neighbors, so we expect trucking will see significant benefits from USMCA as the agreement boosts exports to Canada and Mexico and generates a measurable increase in our gross domestic product in the years ahead,” ATA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of International Trade Policy and Cross-Border Operations Bob Costello. “We look forward to working with leaders in all three countries to ensure smooth enactment of USMCA.”

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