Federal spotlight: ABI joins NAFTA support letters

August 2, 2017

Representatives of Canada, Mexico and the United States are set to meet in Washington, D.C. on August 16th to begin the first of seven rounds of talks to discuss renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The ability to export products from Iowa to other countries is a key part of Iowa’s manufacturing and agricultural economies. ABI has supported efforts in the past that encourage opening new markets for Iowa companies and maintaining existing trade agreements. This week, ABI joined other state and national trade associations by signing two letters.

The first letter, drafted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asks that the trade agreement be modernized, but keep the current benefits. The second, authored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) encourages the administration to maintain the core investment, access, protection and enforcement provisions found in Chapter 11 of NAFTA. The NAM letter will be delivered to the United States Trade Representative; Secretaries of Commerce, State and Treasury; and the Director of the National Economic Council within the White House prior to the launch of the NAFTA negotiations. As a candidate, President Trump had called for eliminating NAFTA or renegotiating the 23 year old trade pact as he saw it as unfair to American workers. According to the U.S. Chamber, more than 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.Therefore, it’s critical that the upcoming trade negotiations strengthen rather than undermine the strong commercial ties between the countries.