CHESTERFIELD, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today met with local business leaders to discuss the potential effects of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the impacts of trade negotiations on Central Virginia small businesses and manufacturers.
If officially enacted, the USMCA would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). During a roundtable discussion with the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce and area business owners, Spanberger learned more about how the USMCA could provide additional export opportunities for Central Virginia businesses. Additionally, she heard about the need to foster market conditions that can sustain economic growth in Chesterfield County and across Central Virginia.
“Central Virginia is home to many successful businesses across a wide array of industries. As our region’s business owners, farmers, and employees look for new opportunities to grow their businesses, we need to keep pressing for a final resolution to the significant uncertainty caused by the renegotiation of NAFTA. During a time marked by widespread market instability, our businesses need to maintain their critical relationships with buyers in Canada and Mexico—and they’ve stated that the USMCA would help achieve this goal,” said Spanberger. “Today in Chesterfield, I heard directly from business leaders about how progress on trade agreements—like the USMCA—could provide much-needed certainty. As USMCA negotiations continue between Congress and the administration, I’m closely following all developments—and I’ll keep fighting for bipartisan legislation that can expand access to markets for our producers, support good-paying jobs in our communities, protect the rights of labor, and encourage investment in Virginia companies. I’d like to thank the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce for their cooperation in this event, and I look forward to working with their members in future conversations related to our region’s economy.”
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Virginia exported $4.3 billion of goods to Mexico and Canada in 2018.
Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has worked to amplify the trade concerns of Central Virginia manufacturers, businesses, and crop and livestock producers. Earlier this year, Spanberger brought the concerns of Central Virginia small businesses and farmers directly to the administration. In a May 2019 meeting with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney, she advocated for long-term certainty for Virginia businesses as they look to expand their exports to Canada and Mexico—and they discussed the potential impacts of the USMCA in Virginia’s Seventh District.
Spanberger has also been focused on limiting the damaging effects of tariffs on Central Virginia producers and businesses. Last month, she successfully pushed House leaders to protect market facilitation payments for Central Virginia farmers. And in May 2019, Spanberger spoke out against the administration increasing tariffs against an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Spanberger is a Member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.