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Leaders speak out on USMCA during border restrictions

July 1st is the first day USMCA will enter into force, but the new deal comes in the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is reshaping how companies think about their supply chains.
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:24 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - A 30 year old trade agreement will be replaced Wednesday with a new deal among the three north American countries, U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

After nearly two years, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada Agreement will take effect.

But there’s a new challenge... officials here at home are saying the pandemic is affecting our area in one form of trade.

July 1st is the first day USMCA will enter into force.

The agreement will replace NAFTA as North America’s guiding trade framework, managing the movement of hundreds of billions of dollars in goods and services between the three countries.

“We actually got every single member of congress from Texas to support it,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar.

But the new deal comes in the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is reshaping how companies think about their supply chains.

On Tuesday, Congressman Cuellar spoke with members of the Texas delegation about the impact and restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

“I’m getting on the phone with Acting Secretary Home Security Chad Wolf to talk to him about border crossing, the U.S./Mexico border crossings. As you know, essential trade is still coming through the border. But the non essential which is the tourism part of it is something I want to talk to him to see what we can do.”

There are already some suggestions on the table.

“Either CBP or vendors can be at the border where they can check temperatures or they can do other testing at the border. There are ways we can do this so we can get the non essential trade coming in.”

Cuellar goes on to say millions of Mexican people would stay at our local hotels, eat at our restaurants, and go to our malls, which in turn would make a huge revenue for local entities who rely on tourism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Cuellar says border businesses have been losing billions every month.

However, officials are confident the new deal is just what was needed during this time.

On Wednesday, Congressman Cuellar will host a press conference with U.S.-Mexico diplomats and congress members to discuss bilateral relations and the USMCA deal.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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