On April 18, The U.S. International Trade Commission released its report on the possible impacts the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would have on consumers and the economy. The report was required under Trade Promotion Authority legislation passed by Congress in 2015, allowing the President and the Administration to negotiate trade agreements with other countries. This is an important step in the process to approve the new trade deal that would replace NAFTA and sign the agreement into law, which by most estimates would have a positive impact on jobs and the economy.
In 2018, International Paper exported 28% of U.S. manufactured products, an increase of six percentage points since 2016. Canada and Mexico are the two largest markets for U.S. forest products manufacturers accounting for 45% of total exports. Manufacturers like IP rely on trade agreements to move our products. We continue to support the improvement and modernization of NAFTA, specifically changes that create more open markets and better rules that support our industry’s exports and strengthen North American investment and supply chains.
The USMCA trade agreement also includes new anti-illegal logging provisions for the first time in a significant trade agreement. The anti-illegal logging language is part of a first of its kind environmental chapter in USMCA that seeks to replace environmental side agreements associated with NAFTA. We expect Congress to consider the USMCA this year, which would for the first time ever, formalize illegal logging penalties.