Media Kit » Try RailPrime™ Today! »
Progressive Railroading
Newsletter Sign Up
Stay updated on news, articles and information for the rail industry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

View Current Digital Issue »


Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation


Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

North American freight-rail industry backs new trade deal


Editor's note: This story has been updated to include today's House vote approving the USMCA.

Yesterday, the leaders of the North American freight-rail industry associations called on their governments to quickly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

In a letter to U.S. congressional leadership, Canadian Deputy Prime Minster Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Undersecretary to North America Jesus Seade, the North American rail association executives wrote the USMCA would build upon two decades of success under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and spur economic growth in all three nations.

"We urge policymakers in Canada and the United States to work diligently towards ratifying the agreement so that it may enter into force as soon as possible," wrote Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies, Railway Association of Canada President and CEO Marc Brazeau, and Asociacion Mexicana de Ferrocarriles Director General Iker de Luisa Plazas.

The integrated North American freight-rail network "embodies the benefits of free trade without the burden of tariffs," the letter stated.

The industry leaders noted that economic growth associated with North American trade has helped open new markets in all three nations. Between 1993 and 2018, North American gross domestic product rose by more than 195 percent, from $8 trillion to $23.4 trillion, they wrote.

"As our industry serves much of this cross-border traffic, this economic growth has in turn allowed railways to invest billions of dollars into their infrastructure while improving productivity and customer service and fostering innovation," they added. "We will only grow stronger in the future by fortifying our relationships as top trading partners."

Legislatures in all three nations have to ratify the agreement. On Dec. 19, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the new trade deal; the U.S. Senate is expected to act on the package next year.