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Business groups push U.S., Canada for new NAFTA deal

August 30, 2018

Business groups in the U.S. and Canada are teaming up to pressure their governments to strike a new NAFTA deal this week.

Business Roundtable and the Business Council of Canada, which represent major companies in each country, warned that including Canada in a three-way NAFTA deal was crucial for jobs in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Forfeiting this three-nation partnership would destabilize North American supply chains, jeopardize jobs and undermine economic growth,” the two groups said in a joint statement.

The National Association of Manufacturers and the Canadian Manufacturers Exporters also pushed for keeping a three-way agreement, arguing it would save jobs

“There is an unprecedented volume of goods flowing between the three countries and significant integration of operations, which makes a trilateral agreement an imperative,” NAM President Jay Timmons and CME President Dennis Darby said in a joint statement.

President Trump set a Friday deadline for Canada to join the U.S.-Mexico pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, warning that he’ll proceed without them and slap Canada with higher tariffs on cars if they don’t join.

Canada and U.S. teams are scrambling in negotiations in Washington to make a deal.

Both the manufacturing and big business groups also argued that keeping the U.S., Mexico and Canada together is vital to confronting China’s trade abuses, which is another trade priority for Mr. Trump.

“International coordination that includes a powerful North American trading partnership is vital to presenting a united front against intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and other harmful barriers to trade and investment,” said the Business Roundtable and Business Council of Canada. “Our goal is to expand trade in order to promote greater economic prosperity that benefits all of our citizens. A strong, trilateral partnership among the U.S., Canada and Mexico is a cornerstone of that prosperity.”

The manufacturing association presidents added: “Because of our two countries’ nearly $700 billion trading relationship, our economies are inextricably linked, and our manufacturing workers depend on a strong deal that keeps us all growing and prospering for generations to come.”

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