A new study from Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of major U.S. corporations, finds that international trade supports 389,000 jobs in Utah — nearly one out of every five jobs in the state.

Trade with Canada and Mexico alone supports 121,400 jobs in Utah, the report said. The group points to this statistic as highlighting the need to preserve and strengthen the North American trading relationship by passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) negotiated by the Trump administration last year. Exports from Utah to Canada and Mexico have increased by 378 percent since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. USMCA would replace NAFTA as the functioning trade agreement among North America’s three large countries.

“The CEO members of Business Roundtable, who lead companies with more than 15 million employees, strongly support congressional passage of USMCA implementing legislation this year. We stand united to preserve and modernize North American trade, which supports over 12 million jobs and a strong U.S. economy,” said Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. and chair of the Business Roundtable International TradeCommittee.

The study, prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide with the latest-available employment data from 2017, examines the net impacts of both exports and imports of goods and services on U.S. jobs in all 50 states. It also compared 2017 data to pre-NAFTA data from 1992. The study found that trade-supported jobs in Utah increased by 86 percent from 1992 (when NAFTA was implemented) to 2017 — nearly three times faster than total employment. 

The study also found:

• Utah exported $2.7 billion in goods and services to Canada and Mexico in 2017.

• Goods and services exports account for 11.1 percent of Utah’s total GDP.

• Trade has a positive net impact on both the services and manufacturing sectors in all 50 states.

A summary of Utah data from the study can be found at https://s3.amazonaws.com/brt.org/brt_general_trade_ut.pdf.

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