Our Position on NAFTA – 2018 Advocacy Defined Series

Government policies should bind the United States and New York State closer to Canada, not create false barriers to trade, job creation and economic opportunity.

That is why strengthening our cross-border economy through the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is one of the Partnership’s 2018 Advocacy Agenda priorities.

Peace Bridge, Buffalo

President Trump promised to negotiate a ‘better’ NAFTA during his campaign, but discussions between the United States, Canada and Mexico have hit a snag after the latest round of meetings in November of 2017 leaving many concerned about the future of the landmark trade agreement.

Buffalo Niagara is at the heart of a dynamic bi-national region.  Our economy and many of its opportunities for growth are directly tied to Southern Ontario. Canada is New York State’s number one trading partner. According the United States Census Bureau, the value of imports and exports between New York and Canada totals billions of dollars each year.

This relationship is an engine for job creation. A report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce outlines how more than half-a-million jobs in New York are supported by trade with Canada.  Of those jobs, nearly half are attributable to the trade between our state and Canada that is fostered by NAFTA according to the same report.

Our members understand this trade relationship because they live it.  In a recent survey of Partnership members, over 80 percent of respondents reported having customers and/or suppliers in Canada.  Partnership member Rich Products is a prime example of how directly our economy is tied to Canada.   Headquartered in Buffalo, Rich Products is a global company including significant operations north of the border.

Mary Kiener, Rich Products
Mary Kiener, Rich Products Corporation

“We’ve done business in Canada for more than 30 years with two manufacturing facilities – one near Toronto and the other in Fort Erie right across the border,” said Mary Kiener, Senior Vice President with Rich Products.  “These facilities are an important source of bakery products for our U.S. business.  We also have a number of customers that do business in Canada.  Maintaining and strengthening Buffalo Niagara’s economic ties to Canada – including protecting the vital role NAFTA plays – must be our goal.”

The Partnership encourages the Trump administration to ‘do no harm’ through the renegotiation of NAFTA and use this process to strengthen our bi-national economy with a commitment to:

  • Maximize border efficiency
  • Maintain visas necessary for cross-border business; and
  • Advance regulatory harmonization

We also encourage Congress to push the administration to pursue a new NAFTA addressing these vital objectives.

2018 Advocacy Defined Blog Series Table of Contents:

 

Grant Loomis Headshot

About Grant Loomis

Vice President, Government Affairs