Says Reneging on International Commitments Will Only Lead to More Retaliation
Washington, DC – Following Mexico’s announcement that it will increase tariffs on some U.S. products in response to the United States reneging on its commitments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to maintain the Cross Border Trucking Pilot Program, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today urged Congress to take the necessary steps to abide by our international commitments.
“At a time when the U.S. economy is in limbo and our exports are essential to maximizing our recovery and growth, it is critical for Congress and the Administration to act in accordance with our international commitments under NAFTA,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “By failing to honor the agreement, the United States is putting at risk economic and diplomatic relations with one of our largest trading partners and a key ally in the region. Backtracking on our promises provokes retaliation, as is evidenced by Mexico’s announcement.”
In December 2008, the NFTC and more than 60 other trade associations and individual companies warned in a letter to Members of Congress that halting the program would likely lead Mexico to retaliate, and could cost the United States as much as $2 billion per year. They argued that the U.S. industries vulnerable to Mexican retaliation include agriculture, consumer electronics, and textiles.
“Mexico is a critically important export market for U.S. businesses and manufacturers, and increased tariffs on U.S. products make our companies and the goods they produce less competitive,” said Chuck Dittrich, NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Initiatives. “If we hope to grow our economy and create jobs, the United States cannot afford to take actions that provide ammunition for our trading partners to retaliate, and in turn restrict our competitiveness.”
“We call on Congress to take the appropriate actions to honor our commitments under NAFTA, and work with the Administration to swiftly resolve this dispute,” Reinsch concluded.
About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for Over 90 Years – The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.