As the new USMCA Trade Deal goes into effect, we’re excited to see the potential and growth supported by a strong North American trade agreement. In part, the projected financial boon to Houston, Texas, and the U.S. ranges from millions to billions. That means more jobs and more work, for both the U.S. and our partners to the north and south.
But what are the challenges that come with increased trade and more fluid business across the border? One of the leading challenges that people often overlook is logistics. Seeing the big picture, or shaking hands and signing contracts is one thing, but successfully communicating all with every level of operations within a company is entirely different.
As translation experts, we often get to see bits and pieces of every facet coming into play. From executives to workers in a factory, everyone needs to be on the same page to really capitalize on the opportunity at hand.
What is the USMCA?
For those that don’t know already, the USMCA is essentially a new trade agreement that replaces NAFTA. It helps dictate the guidelines, general requirements, and other specifics behind facilitating trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
In some sense, it’s easier to think of the USMCA as a new and improved NAFTA. Much of the beneficial arrangements from NAFTA are still in place, while revisions were made to several sectors to improve North American trade and commerce. Two standout examples are changes to the auto industry and the dairy and poultry industry.
The agreement makes it easier for dairy producers to export and sell in Canadian markets. Through adjustments to tariffs and duty limitations, Canadian markets will now have greater access to duty-free dairy sourced from U.S. farms and companies. The main feature for the auto industry concerned rules of origin, which is essentially how you determine the economic nationality of a product.
In this case, to avoid additional tariffs and costs, cars now need to be 75% constructed by or sourced from North American trade partners. The idea, of course, is to support a greater concentration of wealth and job production within Mexico, Canada, and the United States through cooperative trade arrangements. Sounds great, right?
What’s the problem?
Big picture, the trade deal is great. It supports job growth in the U.S. and neighboring countries, while representing an economic boost that numbers in the billions spread across industries. For those of us in Texas or other border states, a lot of that potential value will be concentrated in our state thanks to our economic relationship to Mexico. Texas has a long history of doing business with Mexico thanks to cultural similarities and obviously a shared border, which has led to a healthy trade relationship that fuels both economies.
The problem, as we see it, is that often times a huge boom in business leads to oversight. When the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says that this agreement will generate nearly $180 billion in yearly trade, businesses perk up their ears. In the face of all the opportunity and potential profit, people always overlook the logistics of international business.
Getting Translation Just Right
While things like shipping across borders and figuring out where to source production take some time to figure out, translation is a constant need. From top to bottom, being able to actually communicate with potential business partners is an absolute necessity.
Take Mexico, for example. As a sovereign nation, businesses in Mexico are usually a majority, if not fully, Spanish speaking businesses. No matter how fluent and global some members of their international team may be, the majority of their personnel will likely be native Spanish speakers.
This is where people usually trip up. Meeting with a sales team or upper level execs that happen to be bilingual means it’s easy to make the deal, or agree to do business together. But what happens when you need to send instruction manuals to a factory in Mexico? How do you communicate with an office in charge of mid level operations?
As a precision translation company, we spend a lot of time working through these exact issues for a number of industries. It’s all about forecasting. In order to have a more complete and fruitful business relationship with international partners, you need to look at the whole picture way before trying to start the work.
Our goal, at GlobalSpeak, was to get ahead of these issues during the early stages of the Mexico Energy Reform. This is where we learned the value of tracking patterns and trends as major trade deals and industry shifts happen.
One of the reasons we were able to successfully partner with and facilitate so many major players during the reform process is because we took a whole picture approach. Since our inception, the aim has been to identify trends in major industries and provide direct, actionable solutions before people know they need them. That includes considerations for contracts at all employee levels, instruction manuals, ongoing communications, and just about anything else that a company would need to communicate.
Any company that seeks out international trade should be prepared with translations or a professional translation company on hand. Communications between companies are crucial, no matter what language you’re speaking.
As the USMCA primes partner countries for an influx of cross border economic opportunities, GlobalSpeak is once again working to be ahead of the curve. Just like we did years before the inception of the energy reform in Mexico, we’re studying how major corporations and their connected industries are responding and structuring their businesses with the USMCA in mind.
Going forward, we hope to provide the same level of dedicated translation services to even more businesses making their way into the international scene. Our goal is to create an ease of doing business between nations in an effort to further international relationships, both personal and professional.
If you’re looking for informed, precise, and wide-reaching translation services, call us here at GlobalSpeak Translations.