The Future of NAFTA: The Stakes for American Agriculture and Business
This half-day panel-driven event features speakers from agriculture and business to share views on why modernizing NAFTA makes sense — and why withdrawing from the agreement would be a mistake.
Trade with Canada and Mexico is a significant driver of U.S. economic growth, and with a two-decade record to examine, it’s plain to see that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has generated substantial new opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, consumers, and businesses.
More than 125,000 small and medium-size businesses export to our two North American neighbors, and they are our largest export markets by far. Most important, trade with Canada and Mexico supports 14 million American jobs.
The business community welcomes the opportunity to update the agreement, and as NAFTA negotiations are underway, the U.S. Chamber understands that now is the time to modernize NAFTA.
More than 300 state and local chambers of commerce, representing businesses from all 50 states, have expressed their support for a modernized NAFTA.
NAFTA Works for US
Tom Donohue's Address to AmCham Mexico
Myths and Facts about NAFTA
Myth: NAFTA sent U.S. factory jobs abroad with a “giant sucking sound.”
Fact: It never happened.
U.S. manufacturers added more than 800,000 jobs in the four years after NAFTA entered into force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This boom in factory jobs came after a period before NAFTA entered into force (1980–1993) when the United States lost nearly 2 million manufacturing jobs. Canada and Mexico are the top two destinations for U.S. manufactured goods exports, which all told support more than half of America’s 12.3 million factory jobs.
Myth: NAFTA added to the U.S. trade deficit.
Fact: With regard to Canada and Mexico, the United States ran a cumulative trade surplus in manufactured goods of more than $79 billion over the past seven years (2008-2014).
For services, the U.S. surplus was $41.8 billion in 2014 alone. The fact that substantial U.S. petroleum imports from Canada and Mexico contribute to the overall U.S. trade deficit stems from geology—not NAFTA.
Myth: NAFTA has contributed to unemployment.
Fact: The U.S. unemployment rate was markedly lower in the years immediately after NAFTA came into force (it averaged 5.1% in 1994–2007) than in the period immediately before (it averaged 7.1% in 1982–1993).
Trade with Canada and Mexico supports nearly 14 million U.S. jobs, and nearly 5 million of these jobs are supported by the increase in trade generated by NAFTA, according to a comprehensive economic study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber.
After Tom Donohue laid out the U.S. Chamber’s 2018 agenda in the State of American Business Address, the President and CEO joined Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley for questions from the Washington, D.C. press corps.
On Above the Fold, we recently examined the 12 states that would be hit hardest by a withdrawal from NAFTA. Over the coming weeks, we’ll take a close look at one small business in each of those states that depends on NAFTA. Check back for future installments.
As the Trump Administration works to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), American companies of every size, sector, and state have been reassessing the agreement’s importance.