International Paper supports the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) because it retains open markets to export IP goods and those of our customers while supporting sustainable forest management. The USMCA updates the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has benefited IP and the forest products industry by providing duty-free access to the Canadian and Mexican markets. Since exports are an important part of IP’s overall business, modernizing NAFTA and passing the USMCA is a priority. Congress is debating the USMCA and could vote on it as early as September. IP is actively engaged in this policy discussion and is working with fellow manufacturers and customers to urge Congress to pass the USMCA this year.
International Paper supports the USMCA because it will preserve and improve the market access that has benefitted our industry and workers to date. Overall, the USMCA maintains the regional integration of the North American market and preserves zero tariffs on industrial products, including pulp, paper and wood products for trade within North America. This is significant because Mexico is our second largest export market and Canada is the eleventh largest export market by sales for International Paper. For example, IP’s El Paso, TX Box Plant estimates that 64% of its production goes directly to Mexico. Canada and Mexico represent nearly 45% of the pulp and paper industry’s total exports – an estimated value of $10 billion in 2018.
The USMCA’s environmental chapter includes a provision that commits the three countries to promote trade in legally-harvested forest products. As the largest consumer of wood fiber in the world, IP has a financial and reputational interest in keeping illegal wood out of the global supply chain. The USMCA is the first trade agreement to include strong language to combat illegal logging and associated trade and IP supports this unprecedented effort to promote sustainable forest management.
As Congress debates the agreement, we will continue to provide information on its progress and ask that you share your thoughts on how the USMCA will directly affect IP’s ability to operate. If you would like to follow along on social media, please visit the @IntlPaperGR Twitter page or see what others are saying with the #USMCANow hashtag.
To learn more please see click here to see our one page overview.