Salt Lake City – On Tuesday the Salt Lake Chamber joined more than 300 state and local business associations from across all 50 states in expressing its support for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and urging the Trump administration to “do no harm” as negotiations continue.
In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, 314 state and local chambers of commerce reiterated the business community’s strong support for NAFTA and the millions of American jobs it supports.
“Business leaders across the country know first-hand that trade with Canada and Mexico has created American jobs, boosted economic growth, and strengthened local economies,” the letter reads. “But we know we can do even more to seize the benefits of trade with our North American neighbors.”
The message conveyed in the letter demonstrates a U.S. business community united in support of a constructive renegotiation process and a modernized NAFTA—and against continued threats of withdrawal from the agreement.
“Our neighbors to the north and south are increasingly important free trade markets for Utah companies. Looking at the numbers, it is clear there are overwhelming benefits to trading with our neighboring countries and that without it economic prosperity would otherwise be impossible,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.
The increasing benefits of global trade, including the $3.3 billion in trade between Utah and Canada and the $4 billion in trade between Utah and Mexico, were highlighted in a letter the Salt Lake Chamber and World Trade Center Utah sent to the federal register earlier this year.
“What companies need above all else is certainty and predictability. Having trade deals sets the rules of the game,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “NAFTA is important to the nation’s economy and it is important to Utah’s economy. At 20 years old, NAFTA is in need of updating. It is vital that it is updated in a way that promotes trade between the U.S. and some of Utah’s most important trading partners.”
As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said on Tuesday in Mexico, “We stand firmly on the side of a modern NAFTA that meets the needs of our 21st century economy.”