US Senate Ratifies Updated NAFTA

Preserves duty-free benefits for outdoor businesses, strengthens labor and environment

January 20, 2020

In a significant victory for outdoor companies and consumers, today the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The action follows a positive House vote in December.

In a challenging trade environment, we welcome and applaud this bipartisan free trade agreement and hope it will provide OIA members continued options for new sourcing opportunities, enhanced domestic manufacturing and expanded export markets.

USMCA updates the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and was signed by the three parties in November 2018 but had to be ratified by Congress to go into effect.

OIA strongly supports USMCA and has been an advocate for its approval. Starting in 2017, OIA actively participated in the development of the administration’s priorities for a revised NAFTA and endorsed USMCA because it does the following:

  • Preserves reciprocal duty-free market access for outdoor apparel, footwear and equipment as a primary outcome. 
  • Includes tough and enforceable labor and environmental provisions that match international standards and that are subject to strong dispute settlement procedures. 

Beginning last year, OIA joined the USMCA Coalition, led by the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and participated in dozens of meetings with members of Congress in support of USMCA. We also organized a key meeting between outdoor industry executives and the lead negotiator for USMCA at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) at our annual Capitol Summit in April to express the industry’s support for the agreement and collaborate on pushing for ratification. Following an agreement between the administration and House Democrats to pave the way for congressional consideration of the agreement, we sent a letter of support to each member of Congress.

With USMCA now ratified, we urge the administration to move forward with a “Phase Two” trade deal with China to protect U.S. IP and lift all punitive tariffs on products sourced from China. We also look forward to working with USTR on new free trade agreements that will help outdoor manufacturers, retailers and suppliers to lower costs, protect labor rights and the environment and enhance market access opportunities for Made in the USA members.