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Entries in NAFTA (15)

Monday
Oct082018

A New NAFTA

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

After 13 months of talks, and a whole lot of ups and downs, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have reached agreement on a successor to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The aim of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is to bring North American trade policy into the 21st century. Negotiators deserve a lot of credit for working through all 34 chapters and dozens of annexes and coming up with a pact that all three nations could agree on – it was no small feat!

From the beginning of the debate over the future of NAFTA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agreed it should be modernized. But we also made it clear that we would vigorously oppose any effort to undermine the underlying deal. NAFTA supports the $1 trillion in trade that crosses our borders with Mexico and Canada every year. And this flow of trade supports the livelihoods of 14 million American workers across our country.

The Chamber’s experts are carefully going through the new agreement with our members to assess its implications for U.S. businesses and our economy. But we already know that negotiators got the most important detail right – they kept the agreement trilateral. For a few fraught weeks it appeared possible that Canada could be left out – an outcome that would have been unacceptable to the private sector and dead on arrival in Congress.

Early indicators also show numerous wins for U.S. business including on digital trade, intellectual property, financial services, and agricultural trade. In these and other areas, the USMCA is truly a 21st century trade deal. However, the agreement appears to mark a setback on investment protections and access to government procurement opportunities, issues we will continue to work on.

Read on...

Tuesday
May012018

Access to International Trade Critical for Colorado Ranchers and Farmers

This message could be from any Commissioner of Agriculture across the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Region. Trade agreements and exports are critical to agriculture and many other economic sectors.  We cannot eat all the good we produce and cannot use all the technology we produce.

“The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is vital for the well-being of Colorado and the United States. As U.S. farm incomes decline, the export market is often what keeps our rural communities afloat.”

Let’s Not Take a Step Back

By Don Brown, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture

If you live in Colorado, or if your business is touched in any way by any aspect of the agricultural industry, the ongoing national discussion about trade agreements and import tariffs should mean a lot to you. Colorado farmers and ranchers understand that there are a lot of things like weather and market price fluctuations that we can’t control. But we can make every effort to create new market opportunities and expand the global partnerships we have worked so hard to develop for our products.

We all need to work together to protect our state’s position in international markets. The Colorado farm community can’t afford to wait quietly for Washington to put forth a comprehensive trade strategy.  While we wait, our global competitors are moving aggressively to formalize trade pacts to put them at a competitive advantage to the U.S. It’s not right to force our hard-working farmers and ranchers to stand idle while this political drama plays out.

Colorado ranchers and farmers need free and open access to international markets, as well as trade agreements that help us advance our export relationships. Over the last few years, Colorado agriculture helped lead our state out of the Great Recession, the worst recession since the Great Depression, and a big part of that was our ability to trade with over 100 countries who purchase Colorado food and agricultural products.  Exports of food and agricultural products from Colorado have quadrupled in the past 20 years.

Agriculture is one of Colorado’s top economic sectors, creating approximately 173,000 jobs in our state.  And it’s not just farm and ranch families impacted by the free trade discussion.  If our markets are shut down, it will impact the dealerships where farmers buy farm equipment, the coffee shops where they eat lunch, the gas stations where they fuel up, and the banks where they do business.  According to the U.S. International Trade Administration, every billion dollars of exports supports more than 5,220 jobs. And every dollar of exports creates an additional $1.14 of economic activity for Colorado citizens.

Read on…

Monday
Mar052018

What is NAFTA?

Dirt to Dinner

March 5, 2018

Most of the conversation centered on food circles around the same issues, such as “What are GMOs” or “Where is the organic produce?” Or “Local is better.” At D2D, we wanted to explore the role international trade plays in bringing food to your dinner table.

While you are selecting avocados or blueberries at the grocery store, the last thing you are thinking about is Mexico. Or when you eat a ham sandwich, does Canada come to mind? Probably not. But these are just a few of the products that depend on trade between North American countries to satisfy our food demands.

Year-round availability of many food products occurs largely because other countries can either grow them cheaper than the U.S. or have growing seasons that are opposite of ours. Trade provides the best possible price for the products we want by moving food from where it is grown and produced to where it is eaten. It is an efficient, universal means of bringing balance to supply and demand, and taking the wild swings out of our daily food prices.

Those opposed to NAFTA, on the other hand, argue that the influx of produce from Mexico or Canada negatively affect their prices. For instance, the avocado farmer in California is able to sell the farm’s produce at a premium if avocados are not being imported from Mexico. However, NAFTA can encourage farmers to be more dynamic and versatile in their farming practices. Today, some farmers in California are adapting by diversifying into coffee plants.

Read on...

Thursday
Nov302017

How to Keep NAFTA Dressed for Success

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

November 30, 2017

Textile and apparel executives, and their U.S. workers, are nervously eyeing the ongoing negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Concerns around possible job losses in this sector are running high and rising.

If you had read those statements in the mid-1980s, you might assume this sector was hoping trade talks would unravel, due to threats of foreign competition. Some still believe that to be the case, but they are mistaken.

What a difference a generation makes.

To understand why NAFTA helps the U.S. textile and apparel industry compete, you need only understand one number: 97.

That is the percentage of clothes that are purchased every year by Americans and produced offshore. We still make clothes here in the United States — primarily for fast turns, for the military, and for special programs — and we always will. But the bulk of our clothing is sewn offshore.

Asian countries own a good chunk of that 97%. Six of our top ten clothing suppliers are in Asia with China leading the way at about 40% market share. But the other four top suppliers are in the Western Hemisphere, and they include Mexico — one of our two NAFTA partners.

Read on...

Thursday
Nov162017

Terminating NAFTA Would Devastate American Agriculture: The View of a Wheat Farmer

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

November 16, 2017

On average 50% of wheat grown in the United States is exported around the world, making trade a vital market to myself and fellow wheat growers. Our main message in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) re-negotiations is “Do no harm.”

NAFTA is one of our most important trade agreements. Just last year alone, Mexico was our largest export market with about three million metric tons of wheat and is consistently in the top ten. Prior to NAFTA, U.S. wheat was subject to high tariffs and other trade barriers in Mexico. With zero duties and lifted tariffs, exports to Mexico increased by 400% ten years after implementation of NAFTA, compared to ten years prior to NAFTA.  

While we hope calls for withdraw are just rhetoric, we are taking this threat very seriously. In fact, threats alone have already hurt U.S. wheat. When it comes to commodities, if a customer is unsure of the reliability of their source, they will look to our competitors. Mexico has done just that after a trade mission to Argentina and Brazil in May which led to Mexican millers purchasing Argentina wheat. The first shipment purchased by eight companies will be made in late December and will be 30,000 metric tons of wheat as a trial.

Monday
Sep112017

NAFTA's Impact On Cattle, Protein Trade

CattleFax

September 11, 2017

Trade representatives of the United States, Mexico and Canada declared “progress” but unveiled no breakthroughs at the most recent second round of talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Warnings have been expressed from U.S. agricultural producer organizations about the harm that would come from blowing up the decades-old trade arrangement.

When it comes to cattle imported into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada, combined is just over a million head per year, or about two weeks of cattle slaughter. When looking at all proteins -- beef, pork and poultry -- to stop all trade with Canada and Mexico would put 250 million pounds back on the U.S. market net. Yet it could have a significant impact on the market individually, such as poultry as we export significant amounts to Mexico.

The NAFTA talks are expected to last at least through the end of this year, with venues rotating among the three nations. The just-concluded five-day session in Mexico City followed an initial round last month in Washington.

 

Thursday
Aug172017

NAFTA Helps Small Business Manufacturers Grow

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2017 

Nearly two decades ago, Drew Greenblatt purchased a small manufacturing business in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, he has nearly doubled the number of employees at Marlin Steel Wire Products. Over that same period, he doubled the firm’s sales. Then he doubled that. Then he doubled it again.

In large measure, Greenblatt’s success and Marlin Steel’s growth have been fueled by exporting the company’s wire baskets, wire forms and sheet metal products to customers abroad, with more than a quarter of the company’s revenue now stemming from international sales. Looking at it another way, seven of the Marlin Steel’s 29 workers’ jobs are directly tied to the company’s exports.

Greenblatt would like to see that number continue to grow.
From a business perspective, the foremost goal of U.S. trade policy should be to tear down barriers so companies like mine can start exporting to new markets … Free trade agreements have helped us accomplish this in the past and will help our business grow in the future.
No trade deal, Greenblatt adds, has been more critical to the company’s success than the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA.

Tuesday
Apr252017

With NAFTA, Mexico and the U.S. build things together 

The Dallas Morning News

April 25, 2017

Since NAFTA was signed 24 years ago in my hometown of San Antonio, U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada has more than tripled, and there is no question that Texas has benefited the most. With easy access to two of the busiest U.S. ports of entry via land and sea — Laredo and Houston — it is no surprise that Texas exported more than any other state in 2014, almost $300 billion-worth to countries worldwide. Across the U.S., all but ten states depend on Canada or Mexico as their largest export markets.

While "free trade" has been blamed for job losses in many parts of the nation, as of 2014 nearly five million jobs across the U.S. depend on trade with Mexico. These jobs are not just in Texas. In 2015, Mexico was the first or second export destination for 30 out of 50 states.

Read on...