NEC Urges President to Finalize NAFTA Modernization, Reconsider Tariffs

On June 26, 2018, The New England Council sent a letter to President Donald Trump stressing the important economic relationship between the US and our two key trade partners, Canada and Mexico.  The letter notes the particularly strong ties between the New England states and these key allies, and urges the Administration to continue its work to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to reconsider tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from these two nations.

The letter notes the significant impact of trade with Canada and Mexico on jobs and the economy in New England.  Specifically, the letter notes that, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Canada is the premier goods export market for businesses in five of the six New England states – in the sixth state, it is the second-largest market – representing more than $8.3 billion in goods’ export value in 2017.  Canada estimates that in 2017, service exports from our six states totaled nearly $3.3 billion to areas north of the border.  The letter also points out that each New England state is a leading trading partner with Mexico, with three states counting our nation’s southern neighbor as their second- or third-ranking export market for goods.

The Council urges the Administration not to withdraw from NAFTA, but rather to continue to work toward a modernized agreement that serves the best interests of all three nations, and reconsider the recently imposed tariffs on key imports from our neighbors to the north and south.  In addition to President Trump, the letter was also sent to the U.S Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the members of the New England Congressional delegation.

For more information on the Council’s work on trade issues, please contact Peter Phipps.


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