Anthony Gonzalez: ‘Other report’ means more to NE Ohio
The Canton Repository
By U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
Apr. 26, 2019
Last week, while America’s eyes were glued to the Mueller report, a second, far less publicized report was released to the American people.
The U.S. International Trade Commission analysis of the recently negotiated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was released to far less fanfare. Importantly, though, it outlines the projected economic impact of an agreement with the potential to redefine North American commerce for generations to come.
Our trade relationships with Canada and Mexico are absolutely critical to Ohio and the nation. Canada and Mexico are some of our top trading partners, and as such, it is vital we work as a nation to remove barriers to trade and provide economic certainty for our farmers, our small businesses and our manufacturers. For the Buckeye State, this rings particularly true as the ninth largest exporting state in the country.
The trade commission is an independent agency mandated by Congress to assess the impact of any trade deal that is brought before the legislative branch. They act as our neutral advisers as we assess how a trade pact would affect our communities and the industries that power our economy.
In the case of USMCA, the U.S. International Trade Commission could not be clearer:
“USMCA would raise U.S. real GDP by $68.2 billion (0.35%) and U.S. employment by 176,000 jobs (0.12%) ... the agreement would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy. Manufacturing would experience the largest percentage gains in output, exports, wages.”
With manufacturing at Northeast Ohio’s core, our economy relies on trade partners to produce and export numerous top-quality products. Last year alone, Ohio exported $21 billion in goods to Canada, representing 39% of our state’s total exports. Ohio’s second largest market was Mexico, with $6.9 billion in exports last year, a 6% increase from 2017.
For Ohio farmers, the USMCA would provide much needed relief and certainty to our deeply rooted agricultural community. The deal removes trade barriers in Canada’s dairy market and has negotiated an increase of required U.S. input for any product entering the North American market. Our farmers have been working through one of the most difficult business environments of their lives, and the Ohio agricultural community is near unanimous in its support of this deal.
Lastly, ratification of USMCA would send a strong signal to China as those negotiations enter their final stages. China aggressively has been robbing our country of jobs across all sectors of the economy, while also working to undermine our hard-won innovation through forced technology transfers and outright theft of intellectual property. Presenting a strong, unified front for the final stages of that critical deal is of the utmost importance to our economy and to the security of the world.
The choice for Northeast Ohio’s economy is clear. More jobs, higher wages and a stronger economy would be the result of passing the USMCA. It is time to put partisan politics aside and put our constituents and communities first.
Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican from Rocky River, represents the 16th Ohio House District in Congress.