February 13, 2020
U.S. Commerce Official Discusses USMCA, 5G During Roundtable with Canadian, U.S. Executives
For Immediate Release
TORONTO — A senior U.S. Commerce Department official told U.S. and Canadian business executives that the United States strongly believes that, once implemented, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will create jobs and opportunities on both sides of the border. “The original agreement was signed before we had mobile commerce and the everyday technology that fosters innovation, trade, and growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Ian Steff. “A tech hub like Toronto understands this and will benefit from the new agreement.”
President Trump signed legislation implementing the USMCA on January 29. As Canada’s Parliament considers legislation to ratify the deal, Steff urged a rapid passage and implementation process.
Trade between the United States and Canada totaled more than $714 billion in 2018, meaning nearly $2 billion in commerce crossed the border every day. The United States and Canada also have the world’s largest investment relationship, with U.S. investment in Canada supporting 1.6 million jobs. “USMCA is designed to create a stronger North American market, setting the stage for increased economic growth and innovation,” Steff said.
Steff also highlighted the exceptional promise for fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology to form the backbone of future economic development and public services in both countries, while underscoring the risk of allowing untrusted vendors into any part of the network. He advised, “The level of data connectivity across the continent in a 5G network necessitates national and international measures to prevent any technology and services from untrusted companies, regardless of national origin, from being incorporated in 5G networks.”
“Were a country to allow an untrusted company to be included in its 5G network, it would have access to all the information that flows through the network,” Steff made the comments during a roundtable today with executives at the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.
For media-related inquiries, please contact: Madina Turdieva, Media Specialist for U.S. Consulate General Toronto, at TurdievaM@state.gov, 416-456-2962.