Trade pact improves and codifies progress that began with NAFTA 25 years ago

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (January 29, 2020) – The Salt Lake Chamber lauds the action of President Donald Trump and the United States Congress with today’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a vital trade pact the Chamber has promoted throughout most of 2019.

“Today is the successful culmination of one of the Salt Lake Chamber’s highest priorities,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the organization which serves as the largest and longest-standing business association in Utah. “As an export state, Utah’s economy is dependent on thriving trade relations — relations that are fair and conducive to promoting jobs, opportunity and growth. Those are what the President and Congress have put in place today.”

Trade relations between the U.S., Mexico and Canada have created 12 million jobs since passage of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 25 years ago — more than 121,000 of those jobs in Utah. Along with increased employment, Utahns have benefited from lower cost and higher quality goods.

“We express gratitude to each member of Utah’s congressional delegation who supported this historic agreement, as well as to members of the Chamber — from across diverse industries — who worked with us to engage constructively with federal leaders, which included a series of successful meetings in Washington, D.C.” said Miller.

USMCA modernizes provisions established as part of NAFTA, adding better protections for intellectual property and greater access to Canada’s market for Utah farmers. It also raises the threshold for duty-free products, allowing our manufacturers, small businesses and online enterprises to increase exports without being adversely affected by tariffs.

“The Chamber has been proud to be part of a coalition of Utah business and agricultural concerns to realize this important day,” Miller said. “USMCA provides stability and predictability, not only for our producers but our consumers, as well. Businesses, families, employers, employees — everyone benefits.”

To fully understand the positive impact of USMCA on Utah, the Chamber emphasizes that last year Utah businesses exported $14.4 billion worth of goods to the rest of the world. Those exports came from more than 3,500 companies, most of which are small businesses. One out of six Utah manufacturing firms export to Canada and Mexico — the two top export destinations for U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses. Canada is Utah’s second-largest market; Mexico is its fifth, buying almost $2.7 billion of Utah’s exports last year alone. 



The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000-plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champion’s community prosperity.