– The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses.
CANADA – The national chambers of commerce of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are launching the North American Economic Alliance, a platform for the three private sector organizations to speak with one voice to the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments about the most effective way to enhance the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Juan Pablo Castañón, Chairman, Consejo Coordinador Empresarial of Mexico and Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce stood together to announce the Alliance, surrounded business and political leaders from all three countries.
In a joint statement, the leaders expressed the basic principles that need to guide NAFTA discussions, if they are to lead to increased competitiveness and a stronger capacity to create jobs in North America.
- Any effort to update NAFTA must not undermine the strong foundation that already exists. Put simply, we must “do no harm.” We should not disrupt the $1.3 trillion in annual trade that crosses our borders.
- An updated deal must remain trilateral. For more than two decades, companies have relied on the existing trilateral NAFTA framework as a baseline for our cooperation. Creating divergent rules would undermine our competitiveness by raising costs for businesses and disrupting existing trade flows—as well as the jobs that depend on them.
- Our leaders must understand that modernization should mean updating NAFTA while retaining the current benefits.
- We must act swiftly. Business thrives when the future is clear and apparent risks can be addressed, so lingering uncertainty about the future of North American trade will only suppress economic growth in all three countries.
- It is vital that all three governments keep consulting with the private sector during the negotiation process. With input and involvement from the business communities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the process will be more predictable, and it will be easier to build broad support across North America.
The benefits of North American integration are vast, but we must identify ways in which the public and private sectors can support those that may have been negatively affected by changing economic and technological developments. With this in mind, it is our commitment to more effectively engage workers, farmers, companies and local chambers across the country and region into this dialogue.
“NAFTA has become the cornerstone of our three countries economic partnership. We are grateful to be able to count on the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Consejo Coordinador Empresarial as we continue our efforts to modernize the agreement”, says Mr. Beatty. “It’ll also be essential to work at making a new NAFTA more inclusive, so that everyone can see, and feel, the benefits.”