As Waukesha County residents and businesses cope with the economic fallout of the pandemic, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is poised to go into effect July 1. That’s great news for our strong local manufacturing industry, as well as the agricultural industry that was the foundation of the success our community sees today.

Both manufacturing and farming will see major benefits from the USMCA, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In today’s global economy, fair and modern trade protections are increasingly important to maintaining mutually beneficial trade between the North American economies. As we continue to recover and rebuild our economy during the current global pandemic, having this new agreement in place provides expanded opportunities for local companies to grow.

Waukesha-based manufacturers, such as HUSCO International, a company that designs and produces hydraulic and electrohydraulic components for automobiles, will benefit greatly from improved trade protections and principles provided by the USMCA. Dairy product companies like Lifeway Foods, with large production plants in Waukesha County, will see positive impact from expanded markets and fair dairy-trade as well.

We know that a fair and balanced trade agreement is vital to maintaining the vibrant economy and diverse landscape that Waukesha County residents and businesses have enjoyed throughout the years.

As County Executive of Waukesha County and member of the United State Trade Representative’s Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee, I look forward to witnessing the positive effects of the USMCA within our own communities and across the country.

Paul Farrow is the Waukesha County Executive.