In response to the Trump Administration’s proposal to discontinue NAFTA, the United States Chamber of Commerce assembled over 130 lobbyists to fight amendments and propositions that would inevitably change the agreement and result in loss of profit for industries nationwide. While at Capitol Hill, lobbyists urged lawmakers to maintain the current negotiation, and warned against the damaging effects that the proposed amendments would have.
What is NAFTA?
Since its establishment, the North-American Free Trade Agreement has increased economic efficiency for the nations of Mexico, Canada, and the United States. As the largest free trade agreement, NAFTA has created economic gains by eliminating tariffs and creating investment opportunities. Through this agreement nearly 40 million North American jobs were created. In addition to fostering positive relationships with other nations, the treaty has increased competitiveness and generated trillions in trade and gross domestic product.
How does NAFTA impact Georgia’s economy?
NAFTA has enabled Georgia to become globally competitive in industries such as automotive and agriculture. The production of agriculture contributes nearly $74.9 billion to the state’s economy annually. As reported by the state’s Department of Economic Development, within the last 10 years automotive products that are exported from Georgia-based companies have increased by 150%. Collectively, Georgia exports have increased to approximately 52% amounting to $35.6 billion in revenue.
What implications would the U.S. experience if NAFTA is terminated?
If the North-American Free Trade Agreement were to be discontinued, tariffs would be reinstated which would result in an increase of costs for both consumers and manufacturers. While nearly 80% of Mexican imports are consumed by Americans, imposed tariffs would increase the price of everyday essentials tremendously. Deferral would not only threaten the increased U.S. growth, it would jeopardize the $452 billion invested by American industries.
As American industries have benefited greatly from NAFTA, the United States Chamber and its affiliates are working to protect the beneficial incentives that the treaty provides. While the U.S Chamber of Commerce organized a similar lobbying session in the U.S. House Chamber, negotiations between business leaders, congressional delegation, and the Trump Administration are still underway.