Issue Date: March 13, 2017
Chemical makers set priorities for rewrite of NAFTA
With the Trump Administration vowing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, trade groups representing the North American chemical industry say they are open to modernizing the accord. The American Chemistry Council, the Chemical Industry Association of Canada, and the Mexican Chemical Industry National Association say NAFTA has greatly benefited the industry, created jobs, and made the region more competitive globally. Trade in chemicals among the three NAFTA countries more than tripled from $20 billion in 1994 to more than $63 billion in 2014. But the groups say they are open to updating NAFTA, outlining priorities such as strengthening cross-border data protection, setting new standards for state-owned companies, and streamlining customs procedures. “Most importantly, all chemical products are traded duty-free under NAFTA, and a modernized NAFTA should maintain this policy,” the industry associations say in a joint statement. It’s unclear what changes the White House will seek in the trilateral trade agreement, but the GOP-led Congress is considering border adjustment import taxes and other measures that would upend the current tariff-free arrangement.
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