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7/1/2020   - CHAMBER WELCOMES USMCA TAKING EFFECT TODAY, JULY 1st

CHAMBER WELCOMES USMCA TAKING EFFECT TODAY, JULY 1st

As today is Canada Day, it is traditionally a time for all of us in the #northcountry to welcome thousands of our neighbors to our summer attractions. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the resulting continued closure of our shared border to all but essential travel, is keeping us apart this year.

However, on the commercial side, today is bringing us even closer together this year as the new USMCA agreement takes full effect. Indeed, the fact that the Canadian Parliament approved USMCA in its final actions before its own COVID-19 shutdown, and that the U.S., Canada and Mexico were determined to finalize all of the many implementing steps in time for July 1st, is an enormous testament to the high levels of recognition regarding the enormous importance of our economic partnership.

The terms of USMCA bring added benefits to both the U.S. and Canada, and some simpler procedures for cross border shipping. But most importantly, after a tough period of negotiations, which at times caused concern that the outcome might not be positive, the extraordinary value of the U.S.-Canada economic partnership came though, was recognized and was preserved. Like the Hippocratic Oath, step one in our bi-national relationship was to do no harm. The added benefits in such areas as automotive manufacturing, IT and the digital economy, and in dairy are then definitely to the good and are welcome.

Indeed, the recent success in obtaining a specific exemption of Canada from new suspensions of various work visas hopefully shows that Washington has gained a somewhat enhanced awareness that the economic connectivity between the U.S. and Canada is both unique and mutually beneficial.

As we miss the presence of our Canadian friends this week, and miss the personal ability to enjoy going north, we nevertheless have cause to embrace the implementation of USMCA for its direct benefits to the North Country economy and our future, and as a timely reminder of how incredibly important our bi-national relationship is on all levels.

Onward and Upward,

Garry Douglas

President and CEO

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