Dealers received some encouraging news going into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) being overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
Both the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) cheered the Senate’s passage of H.R. 5430 by an 89-10 vote; a development the White House said was “fulfilling a core promise the president made to the American people.
“USMCA, which the president successfully negotiated over a year ago, rebalances trade between the three countries and will lead to significant economic and job growth in the United States,” the White House statement said.
NADA chairman Charlie Gilchrist reiterated in a letter sent to all Senators ahead of the USMCA vote that, “The U.S. vehicle industry is built on a favorable trading relationship with our two neighbors, Canada and Mexico.”
In a statement released by NADA following the Senate vote, Gilchrist called the approval of USCMA, “a big win for America’s new-car and -truck dealers and our customers. USCMA will reduce the threat of additional, broad-based tariffs on vehicles and parts produced in North America.
“Approval of USMCA will preserve the global competitiveness of the U.S. automotive industry and enable dealers to continue providing affordable vehicle options for American consumers while strengthening our economic ties to Mexico and Canada,” he added.
AIADA president and CEO Cody Lusk pointed out how longer dealers have been burdened by waiting for USCMA to be finalized.
“Passage of USMCA puts an end to the cloud of uncertainty dealers have been operating under for nearly two years,” Lusk said in a statement. “Once it is signed by the president, and its rules pertaining to autos are finalized, this agreement should provide a framework under which the auto industry in America can continue to grow.
“Today’s vote is a vote for stability and security for America’s auto dealers and their customers,” Lusk went on to say.
In prepared remarks ahead of Thursday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “In one recent letter, Kentucky farmers told me, quote, ‘we need the agreement ratified and we need it to happen now.’
“I know my colleagues have been hearing the same thing from their home states. Republicans, Democrats, Senators, Representatives — our incoming has been the same. Get this deal passed. Failure is not an option,” McConnell said.