MEXICO CITY – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today attended a trilateral press conference with the North American trade ministers to commemorate the first anniversary of the entry-into-force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Ambassador Tai was joined by Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier and Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng.
Below are Ambassador Tai’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. First, I want to thank Secretary Clouthier for hosting us in Mexico to commemorate the USMCA’s one-year anniversary. I also want to thank Minister Ng for being here. President Biden knows that we are at our strongest when we work with our closest friends and allies to advance a shared agenda that will lift up workers, increase economic security, and strengthen democracy around the world.
In May, Secretary Clouthier, Minister Ng, and I held the inaugural USMCA Free Trade Commission where we discussed ongoing implementation issues and our shared priorities. That meeting was held virtually and I am grateful that we were able to meet today in-person.
Two years ago, I helped lead the USMCA negotiations in the United States Congress while working on the Committee on Ways & Means. Through collaboration with businesses and labor organizations, we produced a better deal, and the differences between the USMCA and the NAFTA are clear
We strengthened the labor and environmental protections by establishing meaningful commitments and enforcement mechanisms. We improved the intellectual property provisions to increase access to affordable medicines for regular people. We also ensured a framework to strengthen the overall economic competitiveness of North America that can help support good-paying jobs and continue to attract investment to our region.
One year after the entry-into-force, we must continue to implement and enforce the deal to ensure that it lives up to its promise. We also have to regularly listen to and meet with workers to make sure that this agreement is working for them.
That’s why earlier today, I was pleased to join Secretary Clouthier and Minister Ng in a meeting with a diverse group of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs. It was an invaluable opportunity to hear about how the USMCA and trade impacts their everyday lives.
Demonstrating the success of USMCA to our citizens is key to showing that agreements that emphasize pro-worker values and priorities can deliver economic growth and shared prosperity.
That will help our work in other plurilateral and multilateral negotiations where we seek to increase global labor standards and create a new race to the top that benefits workers worldwide.
I look forward to further strengthening our trilateral partnership and working together to elevate our shared priorities on the world stage.