At the last Chamber 101, I briefly talked about the "USMCA." Since no one stopped me to ask "what is the USMCA?," Tony decided to ask those in attendance how many of them could identify what USMCA stands for; not one person had the correct answer. Late last year, trade negotiators unveiled the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA), which has been created to be the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Why is an update necessary? NAFTA originally went into effect on January 1, 1994 and as we all know, the world that we live in has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. I can't personally speak to what the world was like in 1994 (I was 1.5 years old on January 1, 1994), but after a quick Google search, I can tell you that these devices were "all that and a bag of chips" when it comes to cellular technology: I point this out because any agreement that was made in 1994 is going to need updates in order to keep up with the technological advancements, and that is what the USMCA is attempting to do. Texas has been a huge winner as a result of the NAFTA agreement, which resulted in skyrocketing trade with Mexico and it is now estimated that 1 million jobs in the state alone are dependent upon the agreement. That's why the stakes are so high to get an updated trade agreement in place. While no agreement is ever perfect, the more that pro-business trade agreements are put in place, the bigger our Texas economy will grow, which is a win for all of us. So now you know the right answer when Tony asks "what is the USMCA?" - Stay tuned, next week I will be writing about what is contained in the USMCA.