Trade Works for America: USMCA would be great for New Mexico

Energy and tourism are two of the major sectors of New Mexico’s economy, but they are not the only ones.

In fact, according to, manufacturing is not only an important source of employment in the state, it also accounts for most of New Mexico’s exports to other countries ($3.6 billion in 2017).

Maintaining and expanding jobs and industry in the state is thus heavily influenced by international trade agreements, and this border state was affected by NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement reached by the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the 1990s. In a completely different, 21st-century economic landscape, all three countries in 2018 signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which modifies NAFTA’s terms.

The agreement, which has been signed but not ratified, poses several benefits to New Mexico’s economy, according to Trade Works for America.

According to a statement posted on the organization’s website, the agreement would benefit New Mexico’s industries and workers in several ways, including opening up more markets for exports and preventing migration of industrial jobs across the southern border.

While edible nuts make up most of the state’s agricultural exports, its industrial sector is more diverse: each year New Mexico exports hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of electronic components, aircraft parts and more. Keeping those jobs in New Mexico and maintaining a level playing field for international trade are thus important to the economy.

Thus, Trade Works for America has endorsed the USMCA and supports its ratification: “The USMCA will make a huge difference to the state of New Mexico.”

Trade Works for America describes itself as having the mission of “working to educate the American public about the significant benefits of the USMCA,” according to a press release. Among the other benefits it enumerates, it also notes that the Agreement protects patents for new drugs for 10 years, thus removing a financial disincentive for U.S. companies to develop them, and it would support 14 million American jobs.

Terms of the Agreement call for it to be re-evaluated every six years to keep in step with changing economic conditions.

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