Illinois Manufacturing leaders are excited about the new trade deal struck with Mexico and Canada recently. Mark Denzler, Head of the Illinois Manufacturing Association, says the USMCA is a major win for the state’s growing jobs market and for products made here in the state. “Trade is critically important to our state’s manufacturers. 95% of the U.S.’s customers and consumers live outside of the country. No countries are more important than Mexico and Canada. They account for 40% of all export from manufacturing companies in the United States. Last year, the U.S. exported $27 billion in manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico, which is more than the U.S. sent collectively to China, Japan, Great Britain, Australia, and a number of other countries.”
Denzler said that the Country of Origin labeling requirements in the USMCA will be good in increasing Illinois’ products on the international stage. He says the labeling requirements have been talked about for a number of years now and with the increase in exports to Canada and Mexico, the U.S.’s and Illinois’s goods abroad will only grow in brand recognition.
Denzler says the trade will increase good jobs in Illinois. “Today, we have 592,000 people that work on factory floors in Illinois. They earn an average annual wage and benefits of more than $80,000. These are the good middle class jobs that we need to continue creating and maintaining in Illinois. In the 25 years since NAFTA passed, we saw hundreds of percent in trade increased to these two countries. Companies that export do about 82% better than companies that don’t export [abroad], largely because 95% of consumers live outside of the U.S. The exports you have; the more production you have at home, which means more good jobs.”
Denzler says the USMCA helps big name manufacturers and smaller ones as well, including Bunn, Nestle, and Reynolds locally. He said that smaller manufactures that supply the larger manufacturers will also see a significant benefit. “40% of the Gross Domestic Product of Macon County, Illinois comes from manufacturing. We have a robust manufacturing sector here in Central Illinois,” Denzler said.
Denzler says that IMA is now awaiting the U.S. Senate to take up the final vote on USMCA to send it to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.