BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is a new and updated version of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Signed by President Donald Trump, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexico’s former President Enrique Peña Nieto, the provisions of the agreement include agricultural produce, manufactured products, labor conditions, digital trade, among others.
Joe Hurd, president of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, said the state’s economy depends a lot on the success of businesses throughout the Commonwealth, many of which could see changes with the new agreement.
“When there are limited destinations for those products it makes it difficult for our economy to take a positive direction that it needs to take,” he said.
Those effects could include lower tariffs on some goods, and an increase in the use of technology and digital trade.
“I’m not surprised that the Vice President would be in Pennsylvania talking about the importance of it because there are just a lot of business that will be affected in a positive or negative way depending on the outcome,” Hurd said.
Hurd argued the agreement is necessary for many business owners in the county, especially those in agriculture.
“I think it’s one that is important simply because there are so many businesses that depend on the ability to trade with Mexico and Canada,” he said.
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was signed by the leaders from each respective country in November 2018, but the agreement must still be ratified by each country’s legislature, which has not happened yet.