Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) urged congressional leaders to ratify a new North American trade agreement Monday, telling Senate and House leaders that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would benefit Maryland firms.
“Canada and Mexico are important trading partners for the state, supporting over 300,000 local jobs,” Hogan writes in a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders of the two chambers.
“Exports to these two valued partners represent more than 20% of all Maryland goods being exported globally, with Canada as the number one and Mexico as the number eight export markets for our state,” the letter continues.
Hogan’s letter also urges President Trump to reverse recent tariffs levied against the two nations.
The tariffs “have damaged the livelihood of our citizens and led to higher prices on consumer goods,” Hogan writes, adding that the actions “are having an alarming effect on attracting foreign investment, making it more difficult to engage in economic diplomacy and disrupting our long-term economic strategies.”
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was signed by Presidents Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November. It still must be ratified by lawmakers in the three countries.
The agreement, sometimes referred to as the “new NAFTA,” increases environmental and labor regulations, seeks to boost car and truck production, provides American dairy farmers more access to Canadian consumers and increases intellectual property protections.
Hogan, who is serving as vice chairman of the National Governors Association, has boosted his media profile of late, amid speculation he may run for president in 2020.
Hogan’s letter coincides with a media campaign backed by a coalition called Pass USMCA Now, made up of business and labor organizations.
According to one report, the spot will run for three weeks on TV stations from southern Virginia to northern Maryland, “an area rich with the type of business-friendly Democrats proponents of the deal hope to court.”