Washington ~ The Coalition for a Prosperous America appreciates US Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer’s focus upon the trade deficit and rules of origin in NAFTA renegotiations. CPA supports the fact that major reform is needed for NAFTA to benefit American workers and businesses. If major reform cannot be achieved, walking away from NAFTA should be a seriously considered option.
“Candidates Obama and Clinton promised to renegotiate NAFTA in 2008. President Obama instead finalized the disastrous trade deal with South Korea and tried to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress,” said Dan DiMicco, CPA Chairman. “As President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer begin the first ever renegotiation of a major trade agreement, they need to remember the will of the voters rather than succumb to DC special interests.”
Ambassador Lighthizer, in stark contrast to his Canadian and Mexican counterparts, stated yesterday that his priorities are to improve the trade balance, tighten rules of origin, and strengthen labor provisions. He also aims to reform dispute settlement provisions to protect national sovereignty and to include strong provisions to guard against currency manipulation.
NAFTA drastically devalued US labor, causing substantial wage declines in addition to tremendous job losses. Poor trade performance was especially significant in the automotive, electrical and machinery sectors. Agriculture trade performance also worsened.
“The administration should reject fears of supply chain disruption asserted by the import lobby,” said Michael Stumo, CEO of CPA. “Successful trading nations like China and Germany ‘disrupt supply chains’ intentionally, working to increase their domestic supply chains at the expense of foreign suppliers. The US also needs to broaden its focus from currency manipulation to addressing dollar overvaluation which causes the largest part of our trade deficit.”
“The core dynamic is this… a global competition for good paying jobs exists. Persistent surplus countries, like China, Germany and South Korea, are fully engaged,” continued Stumo. “Their strategy is to produce more than they consume, rely excessively on US consumers for growth, and generate domestic full employment. The US has a chance to reject its status as the consumer of last resort, so that we no longer absorb other countries’ oversupply and their underemployment.”
About CPA: The Coalition for a Prosperous America is the nation’s premier organization working on the intersection of trade, jobs, tax and economic growth. We represent the interests of 2.7 million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor members.
Contact Paola Masman