Last month, I was proud to lead our fifth Washington, D.C. Executive Dialogue trip to connect Arizona business leaders with members of Arizona’s Congressional delegation, officials in the federal government, and so much more.
Every year this trip allows the Chamber’s policy leaders—our Vice President of Public Affairs, Mike Huckins, our Public Affairs Committee Chair, Jaime Molera, and myself—to make face-to-face introductions between key members of our community and Chamber with policymakers and leaders in our nation’s capital.
This year, we hosted 15 business and community leaders for pivotal issue briefings and discussions with legislative leaders. These formal and informal meetings and learning sessions created a platform for our team and members to address the most pressing challenges and concerns facing Arizona’s businesses.
Throughout the trip, a top priority was emphasizing the important role Congress plays in ratifying the significant trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
For more than a year, the Chamber has advocated for the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as a modern update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that supports thousands of Arizona jobs.
According to Business Roundtable, trade with Mexico and Canada supports approximately 228,000 jobs. Currently, Arizona businesses export roughly $11.3 billion of products and services to both countries combined. These numbers represent a core part of our economy.
The USMCA would provide needed certainty to Arizona businesses and provide the framework for our continued economic health and growth.
Most importantly, though, the new agreement outlines key provisions that directly relate to our the way our economy has evolved since NAFTA was first implemented. A new, modern agreement will ensure businesses’ digital assets are protected and that our nation is competitive in the fast-paced global economy.
Last week, I joined Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Glenn Hamer to highlight the important business case for this modern trade agreement.
After nearly a year of waiting, it’s time for Congress to ratify the USMCA. This is the message our Executive Dialogue delegates shared with our Congressional leaders, and this is the position that the Chamber will continue to advocate for on behalf of our members.
I ask you to join me and your fellow business owners in urging Congress to ratify this critical trade agreement to ensure our businesses remain competitive in a global economy.