As Wyoming’s summer falls away and the air cools and days shorten, harvest is in the air across our state. I have been fortunate to spend time putting up corn and hay in Goshen County, where I …
As Wyoming’s summer falls away and the air cools and days shorten, harvest is in the air across our state. I have been fortunate to spend time putting up corn and hay in Goshen County, where I grew up. Farmers and ranchers are doing the same all across Wyoming. Agricultural products produced in Wyoming are sought after — both at home and abroad.
Wyoming’s products, not just from farms and ranches, are known for quality, reliability and the honest culture that is attached to every product — a guarantee of its high standard. As I spent time with my family on this recent Labor Day weekend, I reflected on the remarkable value that each Wyoming worker adds to our state and how the productivity of our labor force shines through in the quality of what Wyoming exports to the world.
What we produce is a testament to our land, skill, and resources, and to those American workers living and raising families in Wyoming. As secretary of state, I am proud to serve as Wyoming’s chief business registrar and to ceaselessly advocate for Wyoming’s business-friendly reputation and for the products of those businesses — small and large — who proudly employ the people of this great state.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) — the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — would benefit Wyoming’s workforce in profound ways and do much to leverage the hard work of all sectors in Wyoming to advance Wyoming made, grown or raised products.
Wyoming’s exports to Canada and Mexico include; chemicals, machinery, minerals and ores, nonmetallic mineral products, oil and gas, petroleum and coal products, transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, and livestock.
The Trump administration has negotiated a fair and well-structured agreement with our neighbors to the north and south. New provisions will make it easier for Wyoming businesses to participate in cross-border trade. Unfair business practices by our neighbors — whether manipulative labor practices or the abuse of American intellectual property — will be curtailed and the advantage will be back in the hands of the American worker.
The USMCA trade deal has high standards and it rebalances what we have now to better provide a market for Wyoming’s goods. Already, Wyoming exports over $270 million worth of goods to Canada and Mexico (not even counting the export of services) and that number only stands to grow for Wyoming businesses with expanded access to fairer markets. Nearly 70,000 jobs are supported in Wyoming through trade with Canada and Mexico. By ratifying this agreement, Wyoming’s job market stands to strengthen.
I join Gov. Mark Gordon and other leaders across the United States in calling on the United States Congress to pass the USMCA for those Wyoming workers who tend to our herds, add value to Wyoming’s mineral resources, and create those same quality products that a robust free market demands. I am proud that Wyoming’s businesses create goods of lasting value. I believe we owe it to Wyoming’s workforce to grow our market access and continue to put Wyoming businesses on the map across the continent.
(Ed Buchanan is Wyoming’s Secretary of State. He was appointed to the position in March of 2018 and elected to a four-year term in the November 2018 general election.)