Smart updates to NAFTA can facilitate efficient and fair trade and support North American competitiveness
ROSSLYN, Va.—In its public testimony yesterday before representatives of multiple agencies responsible for U.S. international trade policy and relationships with foreign countries, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) provided formal recommendations to the U.S. government welcoming the administration's initiative to modernize and update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In the time allotted, NEMA presented its general objectives, as well as recommendations in several areas including technical regulations, customs and trade facilitation, and rules of origin.
"The U.S., Canada, and Mexico should build on the firm foundation of the 20-plus years of NAFTA and modernize the agreement to help make the region a manufacturing location of choice," said NEMA Vice President Government Relations Kyle Pitsor. "We look forward to working with the administration and our counterparts in Canada and Mexico on this important initiative."
Building on NEMA's June 12 written comments to the administration, Pitsor's testimony emphasized the magnitude and importance of trade in electroindustry products among the three economies. He further stressed that any changes to NAFTA should be negotiated to enhance trade and competitiveness and not reduce market access for qualified products. The following agencies were represented at the hearing: the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The administration notified Congress on May 18 of its intention to renegotiate NAFTA, which took effect on January 1, 1994. The administration is expected to publish its negotiating objectives on or near July 17, thirty days prior to the formal opening of negotiations with Canada and Mexico.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 325 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems. Our combined industries account for 370,000 American jobs in more than 6,100 facilities covering every state. These industries produce $124 billion in shipments and $42 billion in exports of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year.