An open letter to North American leaders from business groups

President Andres Manuel López Obrador

president joseph biden

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

This week’s North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) — the second tripartite meeting of its kind since the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA) went into effect on July 1, 2020 — represents a boost to the continent’s economic Unique opportunity for competitiveness. Recent events have significantly altered international trade and investment flows, and North America has limited opportunities to capitalize on its unrivaled competitive advantage.

Our three countries together account for almost one-third of global economic activity. The United States, Mexico and Canada represent a market of more than 500 million people, and the three countries have been each other’s top trading partners. Nearly half of North America’s trade now takes place within the region.

On the eve of the final NALS meeting in November 2021, business groups across North America came together to emphasize the need for the public and private sectors to work together to expand trade, effectively support SMEs, avoid supply chain disruptions, enhance economic competitiveness, uphold the rule of law, and Comply with our shared USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA commitments.

We acknowledge the important efforts made over the past 14 months and stress that significant work remains to achieve these goals. USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA aims to foster closer economic cooperation and provide legal certainty for cross-border trade and investment, as well as reliable dispute resolution mechanisms. It is important to have appropriate policies in place to prevent the use of these mechanisms, which should be a last resort. We call on our government to work toward expeditious resolution of the USMCA/CUSMA/TMEC dispute settlement procedures on energy, auto rules of origin, and dairy tariff quotas. We further encourage all three governments to negotiate solutions to persistent challenges – such as a possible ban on genetically modified corn – through dialogue and cooperation to avoid dispute settlement procedures. Our collective resilience, economic growth and job creation, and the well-being of our people depend on continued strategic action that benefits North America.

More than 30 years ago, the creators of the original NAFTA laid the foundation for the Continental Supply Chain Platform that would enable businesses and workers in these three countries to trade and compete successfully with the rest of the world. One of the best examples is the highly integrated North American auto industry. Today, we have an unprecedented opportunity to position North America as the world’s leading producer of electric vehicles. But we can only succeed if we work together to overcome shortages of critical raw materials, encourage investment in new manufacturing capabilities, and make it easier for consumers to buy electric vehicles.

Across all industries, North America’s ability to compete with the rest of the world will depend heavily on the continent’s energy security and transition plans to ensure access to clean, reliable electricity and fuels at competitive prices, allowing investors to Able to achieve their business goals as their global environmental goals. The region must seize the opportunity to become a reliable supplier of clean energy, critical minerals and low-carbon technologies to the global market.

In the current global context of heightened food insecurity, adhering to our science-based North American trade commitments will allow us to meet the food needs of our people and the world, improve our environment, and promote prosperity for those working in agriculture-related industries.

To realize this vision of a competitive North American region, our governments must work together to develop strategies that strengthen the rule of law, ensure commercial certainty, and adhere to transparency, predictability, stability, accountability, and appropriate global best practices. practice. process.

We would like to re-emphasize the importance of keeping trade flowing during emergencies. At the USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA Free Trade Council meeting in Vancouver last summer, your government committed to forming a subcommittee to collaborate in emergency situations to maintain, rebuild, or otherwise resolve issues related to cross-border trade. issues, and a working group that will reach consensus on critical infrastructure priorities. As a business organisation, we offer our expertise and welcome the opportunity to engage in discussions on the Tripartite Agreement to reduce economic disruption during future crises.

By committing to fully implement and comply with USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA, comprehensive programs to support small and medium enterprises, emergency preparedness actions and support for resilient supply chains, strengthening democratic institutions, ensuring business safety, and upholding the rule of law, the three governments can contribute to a variety of Scale and economic sectors create conditions for greater competitiveness and new opportunities for companies.

On behalf of the business communities in these three countries, we look forward to working with your government to advance these recommendations and build a better future for the people of North America.

Consejo Coordinator Empresarial

American Chamber of Commerce

Business Council of Canada

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