ROGERS — With the implementation date nearing for the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), the International Trade Administration has unveiled a new website that aims to provide key information about the agreement and how to prepare for exports on July 1.
USMCA, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is expected to propel Arkansas’ already robust economy, as Canada and Mexico are perennially the Natural State’s top two trading partners.
In 2019, exports to the two countries amounted to approximately $2.3 billion in goods, while the state had a combined positive trade balance (meaning Arkansas exported more than it imported) with both countries of $485 million, according to data compiled Melvin Torres, director of Western Hemisphere trade at the World Trade Center Arkansas.
NAFTA, which was signed into law in 1994, removed numerous trade barriers between the three nations, according to The Associated Press.
Since NAFTA’s implementation, Arkansas’ exports to Mexico have increased by more than 700% compared to just 300% with the rest of the world.
“Arkansas has a diverse economy, which propels the export ecosystem of the state. The trade partners and industry diversity, promote a fertile environment for small business exports in Arkansas,” Torres said.
“As of December 2019, international trade in Arkansas supported nearly 350,000 jobs, while Arkansas’ total exports have increased by 18% since 2009 and reached 167 countries,” Torres added.
The Center’s mission is to grow trade and increase Arkansas exports by connecting Arkansas businesses to the world through international trade services. The center is part of the University of Arkansas and serves as the official international trade promotion arm for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. For more information and valuable updates, please follow the center on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to the World Trade Center Arkansas newsletter.