North American trade deal critical for keeping U.S. ports competitive

Alexandrea, VA - The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is heralding the House approved U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as an important step for enhancing the ability of America’s seaports to deliver jobs, economic opportunities, and efficient movement of goods and people.

America’s deep-draft seaports support employment of nearly 31 million American jobs, $378 billion in taxes and 26 percent of U.S. GDP.

Chris Connor, AAPA president and CEO, said the new trade agreement that modernizes and addresses tariff schedules, commodity regulation, goods standards, manufacturing regional content requirements, digital trade and labor standards, is crucial for the continued flow of goods in the North American bloc.  “North American ports stand to benefit significantly from the increase in trade and travel between our three nations, and the certainty that the movement of goods and people won’t be hampered by unanticipated trade restrictions or tariffs,” he said. 

Mr. Connor added that even despite significant national political changes in all three countries during the multi-year negotiation, "United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, together with Congressional Democrats, found a way to reach a compromise that has won the approval of organized labor who opposed trade deals for 25 years."

The Senate will take up the legislation in January.

“Long after USMCA is signed, sealed and delivered, AAPA will continue to be a strong voice for international trade, helping provide federal policymakers with information on the many benefits that free-flowing commerce between our global trading partners provides America’s businesses, farmers, manufacturers and consumers,” said Mr. Connor.