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Industry Hopeful for NAFTA Deal

Feb 2018

The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations between the US, Mexico, and Canada concluded Monday, January 29 without a final deal.  The three countries are at an impasse over the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the trade agreement, including auto manufacturing, agriculture, and investments.  US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, blamed Canada for the slow progress in reaching an agreement.

“The reality is some of the participants weren’t willing to talk about anything,” Lighthizer said.  “Now, they’re starting to realized that we have to begin to talk.  I think that’s a reason for guarded optimism.  But you know, I’m never really very optimistic.”

Business and industry groups are also cautiously optimistic that a suitable agreement can be reached.  More specifically, they are concerned that withdrawing from NAFTA could upend their supply chains which have changed substantially in the 24 years since NAFTA was signed.

In a recent op-ed, American Chemistry Council, CEO, Cal Dooley wrote, "Withdrawing from NAFTA, and reintroducing tariffs into the North American supply chain, would erode US manufacturing competitiveness and extinguish a renaissance that is expected to peak within the next decade,"

The next round of negotiations will take place in Mexico City in late February.

VI is working with the larger community of business and industry groups to provide options for the administration to improve NAFTA.  If you’d like to join the VI in our NAFTA advocacy efforts, please email us here.