ORLANDO. The largest trucking associations of the United States, Canada, and Mexico have issued a joint statement touting the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
American Trucking Associations (ATA), Cámara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga (CANACAR), and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said all three nations have benefited from NAFTA, and they are speaking out to “urge negotiators to update the trade agreement in a manner that continues to benefit trade.”
They wrote the North American supply chain relies on trucks to haul the majority of goods, and “we strongly encourage our governments to update NAFTA to keep North America competitive internationally.”
Bob Costello, ATA’s senior economist, said he believes “Mexico gets a lot of unfair blame,” when dissecting the 23-year history of NAFTA and its impact on manufacturing jobs.
Speaking at the 2017 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition, he noted that in the years after the signing of NAFTA, about 500,000 factory jobs were added.
It was only after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the United States began to lose millions of manufacturing positions.
He also pointed out the border crossing in Laredo, TX, sees about 6,000 truck crossings a day, a sign just how critical NAFTA is to the economic health of the nation.
Derek Leathers, president and CEO of Werner Enterprises, said he was living in Mexico City when NAFTA was implemented, and leaders there were also nervous how the trade pact would play out.
More than two decades later he said it was a good idea to seek “a remodel,” but not a “tear down” of the deal.