FILE - NH Cargo ship 5-27-2017

A large cargo ship is seen May 27, 2017, off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

A member of the board of directors of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire says that Congress should stop wasting time and ratify the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), sometimes called “the New NAFTA.”

Smith, who is president and CEO of Hypertherm in Hanover, published an opinion piece in the New Hampshire Business Review saying that swift ratification would put America in an advantageous position.

The Trump administration has agreed to the deal, but ratification awaits the go-ahead from the legislative branch. New Hampshire exports $1.1 billion in goods and $343 million in services to Mexico and Canada, the nation's two leading trade partners, Smith wrote.

One out of four New Hampshire manufacturing firms do business in Canada and Mexico. Many firms do business in both countries. Three-quarters of the manufacturing firms are small and medium sized businesses, Smith said. More than 3,500 good-paying New Hampshire jobs that offer real career opportunities are dependent on North American exports, Smith said.

The industries include machinery, transportation, electronic equipment and fabricated metal products, Smith said. Nearly one third of the trade is in computer and electronic products.

Smith said the big attraction for all U.S. businesses is tariff-free, unencumbered trade among the three countries.

“Tariffs on foreign goods simply make the prices of those goods more expensive,” he wrote. “U.S. consumers of the products (businesses and individuals alike) pay the tariffs – not foreign countries.”