Our staff works in concert with an engaged Business Works Committee (formerly Legislative Committee) who carefully examine key legislation on our radar and create action plans to influence policy to support business growth for our Members.
One example, a key piece of legislation on our radar was the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We saw this initiative to modernize NAFTA as critical to our economic future because it will preserve and strengthen U.S. trade ties to Canada and Mexico. Because NAFTA was negotiated a quarter-century ago, there was a lack of modern accommodation demonstrated in its parameters and left out current innovations in trade and commerce; for example, e-commerce being a huge sector improperly regulated. In early December, we created an event called the USMCA Forum to educate our Members and the general public on how this federal legislation may impact local businesses. Our expert panel included the Chicago Consulate Generals from Canada and Mexico, a leader from the Illinois Manufacturers Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Each provided a wealth of data to our Forum goers and up to the minute information on the intricacies of USMCA. The event was also able to highlight two of our local businesses with a global presence, Phoenix Closures and Spanesi – connecting their business to our Membership, to experts, and allowing them to bring their direct relationship with USMCA into the discussion. It was a wonderful event that underscored exactly how we want to be ahead of the subjects that matter most. Only days after, the Congress reached a consensus on the USMCA proposal – and, just last week has pushed the bill forward to be signed by the President.
Our investment in the USMCA event is one example of our commitment to meeting the needs of our diverse Members and our community. Today more than at any point in history, our local businesses have the innovations and other advances to operate in a global economy. It is important for us to widen our lens of support for our NACC Members to ensure we are providing resources for their global trade, locally. Stay tuned as we continue to develop programming that supports business expansion into global markets.
And remember, the NACC offers Certificates of Origins for area businesses who trade in countries requiring this certification of U.S. origin of the products shipped internationally. This certification is free of charge for our Members and $25 to non-members.