Business In U.S., Canada, Mexico Optimistic About NAFTA Despite Protectionist Environment: HSBC Report

The leader in the business world in the United States, Canada and Mexico apparently still have a positive outlook for the future despite the rising tensions between the countries with respect to the NAFTA agreement – negotiations to reset the agreement of which is still ongoing, and the growing uncertainty about the protectionist trade policies that the U.S. is currently leaning towards.

This was the outcome of a report prepared by HSBC bank titled ‘Navigator: Now, next and how for business’.

According to the report, a protectionist approach is being taken by governments and there is a rising tendency of creating barriers to international trade on the pretext of protection of domestic industries is believed by over 60 per cent of the business leaders who were surveyed in North America.

However, more than half of the companies who were surveyed are expecting a positive outcome of the NAFTA trade agreement in the next two years.

“In spite of the threat of new trade barriers, we expect growth in cross-border business to continue, especially among our North American neighbors. We’re seeing a lot of optimism from U.S. clients right now stemming from factors like deregulation, lower taxes, a somewhat weaker U.S. dollar, climbing energy prices and a rise in global economic development,” said Wyatt Crowell, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC USA.

“As the world’s largest trade bank and leading international commercial bank in the US, we are uniquely positioned to provide end-to-end coverage: from structuring cross-currency financing transactions, to supplying access to broader institutional markets and acting as clients’ primary operating and transactional bank.”

Some 6000 multinational companies were surveyed for the report from all across the world and it found out that more than three forth of the businesses were optimistic about the future of their companies with respect to international trade. This despite the fact that globally, about 61 per cent of those businesses surveyed were concerned about the rising protectionism trends among governments.

On the issue of the NAFTA agreement inhibiting growth, less than 10 per cent of U.S. businessmen agreed to it in the survey, which was lower than similar views expressed by businessmen in Mexico (16%) and in Canada (13%).

The survey also found that companies in the U.S. were more hopeful of a positive impact of the NAFTA agreement compared to other trade agreement with far away countries.

“NAFTA has significantly benefitted Canada, Mexico and the United States,” said Linda Seymour, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank Canada.

“It has facilitated increased trade, improved customer choice, allowed for the provision of more services and has fostered growth and greater co-operation among government policy makers and businesses in all three countries.”

Additionally, the prospect of more trading abroad was considered to have a positive outlook in all of the three countries – U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“NAFTA has become a $1.2 trillion corridor for continental trade and investment, and represents a good opportunity to business in the three countries to grow and expand,” said Juan Marotta, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Latin America and Mexico.

“HSBC has a major presence in each NAFTA country, making us ideally placed to connect businesses to opportunities across North America, as well as around the world.”

(Adapted from


Categories: Economy & Finance, Geopolitics, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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