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August 13, 2018

Where Do NAFTA Discussions Stand, And Why Is NAFTA Important?

The U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments continue to work to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and, last week, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released an updated two-page document outlining why these discussions are so important to the American economy. NAM noted U.S.-manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico alone support the jobs of more than two million Americans at more than 43,000 manufacturing firms across the United States.

According to NAM, average manufacturing wages of $82,023 in 2016 were approximately 27 percent higher than overall average nonfarm wages, and export-related jobs pay on average 18 to 20 percent more than jobs not related to exports. NAM also noted U.S. exports of major manufacturing goods sectors, including iron and steel, grew much more rapidly to NAFTA countries since 1997 as compared to the rest of the world.

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) supports NAFTA modernization and continues to encourage its members to discuss their opinions about the issue with lawmakers. The Canadian government has established a webpage for stakeholders to submit their views. MSCI members in the United States who are interested in weighing in on NAFTA deliberations should contact their representatives in the U.S. House and Senate to let them know how altering or eliminating NAFTA would affect their businesses, employees, and customers. Click here for contact information for every member of the House and here for senators. MSCI’s comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding NAFTA reauthorization are here.

Also of interest: the Congressional Research Service released an overview of NAFTA modernization discussions at the end of July. The report includes a review of all of the issues being discussed.