Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told business delegates in Ottawa, without criticizing Trump, that significant changes to NAFTA will affect the connected economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The head of an influential business group in the United States has made it lucidly clear that any move by Donald Trump’s administration to significantly tinker with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will have a detrimental effect on the economies of Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Trump has earlier stated that NAFTA has been a disaster for American workers and has pledged to renegotiate the deal stating that he is prepared to walk away from it if the changes made do not meet his expectations.
Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has stated that Mexico and Canada were two of the the United States’ biggest export markets.
“Withdrawing from NAFTA would be devastating for the workers, businesses, and economies of our countries,” said Donohue to a business audience in Ottawa, Canada.
“Beneath all the debates, arguments, and attention-grabbing headlines, I think our leaders across the board understand this,” said Donohue, who is set to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later in the day.
Ever since Trump won the elections, senior Canadian officials have gone to great lengths to stress to their U.S. counterparts on how closely linked the two economies are.
Donohue stressed Trudeau’s point that 9 million U.S. jobs rely on exports to Canada.
“First, let’s do no harm. Let’s preserve, protect, and advance the robust trade that supports both of our economies and millions of our workers,” said Donohue.
“To address areas open for modernization or improvement, we would insist on doing it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the $1.3 trillion worth of trade that depends on NAFTA,” said Donahue without being critical of Trump.
He went on to add, “You don’t create jobs by dismantling a relationship that works well”.