August 14, 2017

U.S. Launches NAFTA Talks This Week—Check Out MSCI’s Priorities

This Wednesday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will start discussions with the Canadian and Mexican governments about updating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

As a reminder, in testimony in June the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) explained how uniquely successful the pact has been for North American manufacturing and urged the Trump administration to upgrade, but not endanger, the trillion dollar-plus annual trading relationship that NAFTA has established between the United States, Canada and Mexico. MSCI asked that USTR:

  • Ensure stronger and more transparent rules that continue to level the North American trade playing field;
  • Ease border crossing regulations, wait times, and other restrictions;
  • Harness the digital revolution to allow for faster, easier, less burdensome and safer cross-border commerce;
  • Create even stronger, more efficient dispute settlement procedures; and
  • Renew the commitment to work collaboratively, while strengthening the rules and mechanisms to hold accountable bad actors that seek to circumvent trade laws.

As the National Association of Manufacturers has pointed out, Canada and Mexico are the largest foreign purchasers of U.S.-manufactured goods, buying one-fifth of all U.S.-manufactured goods production in 2016—more than the next 10 U.S. trading partners combined. These exports have more than tripled to Canada and Mexico, from $129 billion in 1993 to $446 billion in 2016. Additionally, U.S.-manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico alone support the jobs of more than two million men and women at more than 43,000 manufacturing firms across the United States.