Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth Senior Editor, Digital Content


September 24, 2017


With the latest round of NAFTA negotiations underway, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue took to pages ofThe Wall Street Journalto deliver this message [subscription required]:

Quitting Nafta would be an economic, political and national-security disaster.

Donohue explains:

Fourteen million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, which are by far the U.S.’s largest export markets. Our North American neighbors buy more than $600 billion in U.S.-manufactured goods each year, more than the next 10 largest markets combined.

Thanks to Nafta, virtually all North American trade is tariff-free. After withdrawing from the deal, tariffs on all products would snap back to an average of 3.5% for the U.S., 4.2% for Canada, and 7.5% for Mexico—a terrible deal for all three countries.

The increased tariffs would hit American consumers and exporters in the pocketbook, but the losses would accumulate well before that. Supply chains would shift away from the U.S., as Canada and Mexico looked to their other free-trade partners, in Europe and Asia, for manufactured goods and food.

Hundreds of thousands of American jobs would be lost, and that’s a conservative estimate. Heartland states that voted for President Trump would be hurt most, and angry voters would know exactly whom to blame.

Beyond the trade retaliation and economic fallout, cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico in other areas would fall off. Today the two countries work closely on antiterror and antinarcotics efforts, and Mexico helps limit Central American migration northward. These efforts would end overnight.

Read the rest of Donohue's op-ed at The Wall Street Journal.

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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