Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on USMCA Free Trade Commission Decision on North American Competitiveness

February 23, 2023

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released the following statement upon signature of USMCA Free Trade Commission Decision No. 5 on North American Competitiveness by the United States, Canada, and Mexico:
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed serious gaps in our three countries’ responses to trade flow disruptions during emergencies, as well as our understandings of what constitutes critical infrastructure priorities.  Our increasingly integrated supply chains depend on the shared maintenance of North American trade flows, especially in light of the supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s unjust and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, as well as continuing challenges posed by non-market actors.  This FTC Decision will create important trilateral bodies to enable timely cooperation during emergency situations and to coordinate on critical infrastructure priorities.  Working together under the USMCA, we can build resilient supply chains and make North American even more globally competitive.” 
FTC Decision No. 5 establishes a trilateral Sub-Committee on Emergency Response under the USMCA North American Competitiveness Committee to coordinate North American efforts to maintain regional trade flows during emergency situations.  In addition, the Decision creates a Working Group under the Sub-Committee to develop a shared understanding of what constitutes critical infrastructure priorities.  USTR will lead coordination of both the Sub-Committee and Working Group in partnership with technical experts from U.S. government agencies with emergency response and critical infrastructure expertise.
Copy of FTC Decision No. 5