NEC Statement on House Approval of USMCA

Regional Business Group Lauds Passage of Trade Deal as a Win for New England Economy

*NOTE TO MEDIA: Jim Brett is available for interviews – contact Emily Heisig at or 617-365-2647  to schedule.*

BOSTON (December 19,2019) – New England Council President & CEO James T. Brett released the following statement today upon the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to approve the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“The House’s vote to approve the USMCA is a huge win for the New England economy. With over 600,000 jobs in our region supported by trade with Canada and Mexico, and nearly $13 billion in exports in 2018 alone, the importance of this agreement for our region’s continued growth and prosperity cannot be understated. Beyond the numbers, the USMCA makes important updates to modernize our trade relationship with these key partners to take into account modern day technology and innovation. From provisions to allow for cross-border data flow, to clear guidance on data localization, to protections for intellectual property, this is truly a 21st century trade deal and hopefully a template for future free trade agreements.”

The New England Council has a long history of support for free trade, and approval of the USMCA has been a top legislative priority for the organization in 2019. The Council has written to members of the region’s Congressional delegation and published op-eds in regional publications expressing its support for the agreement and outlining its impact on the region, and has brought members representing an array of industries to meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for the multi-lateral agreement, which updates the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The Council is grateful to the members of the New England delegation who voted in favor of approval, and in particular, to House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) for his leadership in advancing the deal as well as Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and John Larson (D-CT) for their contributions on the USMCA working group. We are hopeful that the Senate will act quickly to approve the USMCA so that the entire region will continue to benefit from continued trade with our neighbors to the north and south,” Brett added.

For more information on the economic impact of trade with Canada and Mexico on the New England region, including data on exports and employment, please see this FACT SHEET.

The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange. For more information, please visit:

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