- Advancing Free Trade Helps Ensure Economic Empowerment of Women
The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement can benefit female business owners by reducing the cost of transporting goods and services across borders, participants underscored during a recent forum on “Women’s Global Trade Empowerment” hosted by the Commerce Department. Indeed, more practically utilizing the newly implemented trade pact among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is a critical basis of advancing the economic empowerment of women. Bringing together trade experts and female business owners from the three nations, the virtual forum highlighted pragmatic ways in which women can thrive in international trade through dynamic opportunities generated by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. In particular, forum participants discussed topics such as trade finance, e-commerce, and direct investment while also featuring women-owned companies that have successfully exported to North American markets through value-added activities. The goal of the ongoing Women’s Global Trade Empowerment Forum is to ensure women’s access to opportunities related to international trade and investment. For the United States, strong relationships with Canada and Mexico are vital to ensure economic prosperity and regional security. Over 12 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico and Canada, many of which are in manufacturing and agriculture. Women make up 26.2% of America’s agricultural workforce and 29.4% of the manufacturing workforce. By continuing trade facilitating measures, the trade pact known as USMCA can generate more and greater opportunities for women-owned businesses. On that front, it is notable that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department are two of the 10 key agencies facilitating the Trump administration’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative, spearheaded by first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and launched in February 2019.