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EMC President Jean-Pierre Giroux Speaks at Texas USMCA Meeting

How will USMCA affect Canadian Manufacturing?

The state of free trade throughout North America is of particular importance to Canada’s manufacturing sector, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of this fact, EMC President Jean-Pierre Giroux attended the 2021 USMCA and Workforce Development: Building a Competitive North America event in Dallas, Texas to discuss issues at the forefront of the competitive landscape for Canadian manufacturers.

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DALLAS, Texas — The state of free trade throughout North America is of particular importance to Canada’s manufacturing sector, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of this fact, EMC President Jean-Pierre Giroux is currently attending the USMCA and Workforce Development: Building a Competitive North America event in Dallas, Texas, to discuss issues at the forefront of the competitive landscape for Canadian manufacturers. Labour shortages, skill certification, and the establishment of internationally-recognized operational standards are all topics occupying business leaders’ minds and, as the USMCA trade agreement continues being rolled out, manufacturing organizations must stay abreast of developments happening throughout the continent to compete with enterprises on our shores and beyond.

Introduced by former U.S. President Donald Trump and further facilitated by the Biden administration, USMCA — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – succeeds NAFTA as North America’s most powerful free trade agreement, and holds a number of implications for Canadian manufacturers operating internationally and domestically. Many of the challenges faced by Canada’s manufacturing sector are also proving detrimental throughout American and Mexican industries, and, without a concentrated effort by all three countries to remove trade barriers, international commerce will become an exceedingly difficult and expensive endeavour. One of the most pressing topics made visible by Giroux’s recent address has focused on developing a concrete skills agenda recognized by manufacturing corporations throughout North America, which will further eliminate obstacles to trade and employment across the continent. As labour shortages continue to wreak havoc on each North American country’s production and supply lines, being able to identify and hire for a set of universally-accepted operational abilities will significantly broaden these nations’ skilled labour pools, ensuring a vast array of knowledgable, experienced workers available to hire without delay.

USMCA is also poised to allow Canadian manufacturers greater access to American and Mexican consumer markets. As described in previous Newsroom material, the reputation of Canadian-made goods remains exceptionally high following the pandemic, and customer demand for products developed by Canada’s manufacturing leaders has never been stronger. Being able to service these intra-continental markets directly will certainly prove financially prosperous, but the skills certification methodology espoused by Giroux offers an additional benefit to businesses eager to take advantage of international target demographics. Consider that customer demand cannot be properly capitalized upon without a sufficiently-sized operational capacity — a problem faced by many Canadian manufacturers today. Through an expanded pool of skilled workers from across the continent, manufacturing enterprises will be able to hire all the labour they need to keep up with their orders, perpetuating a cycle of ever-increasing financial success and allowing for further corporate growth.

The matters currently being spoken about by Giroux during this USMCA event, while doubtlessly important, only scratch the surface of how this new free trade agreement will impact Canadian manufacturers throughout the decade. As the North American economy continues to show signs of post-pandemic recovery, manufacturing leaders have the opportunity to benefit from the wide range of skills, experience, and buying power present across the continent.

See EMC President Jean-Pierre Giroux’s full discussion on competitiveness and standards certification in manufacturing at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Event and Exhibit page. Attend EMC events frequently for knowledge and expertise crucial to leaders in the Canadian manufacturing industry.

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