A North American Perspective on NAFTA – Not a Done Deal

January 3, 2017 – Tiffany Melvin, President of the Dallas-based North American Strategy for Competitiveness, Inc. (NASCO) recently reported the following for the Iowa Economic Development Agency News.

Tiffany Melvin NASCO

“It has been an unprecedented year for North America with the modernization of NAFTA taking center stage for most of 2017. While much progress has been made in the initial rounds of NAFTA renegotiations on critical issues – digital trade, customs automation, regulatory cooperation and trade facilitation (to name a few) – there remain some very contentious issues introduced by the US to negotiate – increases to the rules of origin, a sunset clause, dispute settlement and government procurement.

The differences in negotiating positions are huge, and President Trump’s threat to withdraw from NAFTA is credible. While many trade experts hope for a breakthrough and a renegotiated NAFTA, a withdrawal is a real possibility and businesses should be prepared.

NASCO’s priority is to facilitate fair and competitive business for North America. We believe enhanced and secure supply chains facilitate trade. Improving the North American supply chain and transportation network and eliminating un-necessary trade barriers and cross border inefficiencies are vital to the competitiveness of all three countries – and our continent as a whole. We are dedicated to promoting North American energy independence, security and opportunity, and investing in energy efficient technology and sectors will produce new jobs. Lastly, we must strengthen the quality of our North American workforce. Standardized and mutually respected training for certifiable manufacturing jobs will increase labor access for the manufacturing and logistics sectors providing vital relief.

A modernized NAFTA is certainly the goal, but, if we fall short, there is still much that can and should be done at the grassroots level to improve the competitiveness of North America outside the scope of a free trade agreement. Either way, it is up to local governments and businesses to continue to engage, collaborate and invest in our continent and initiatives to achieve a robust, sustainable and globally competitive North America.

North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) is the only tri-national network of North American governments, businesses, and educational institutions driven by a common interest in collaboration along commercial corridors and trade networks. We are a grass roots organization that does not represent a single business sector or industry, but a variety of sectors with both complementary and competing interests related to North American competitiveness. NASCO strives to prioritize the interests of our members, comprised of government, academia and industry, and to identify key priorities, common objectives and areas for collaboration that will promote and enhance North America in three critical areas – supply chain and logistics, workforce and labor, and energy and the environment. “
Visit www.nasconetwork.com for more information

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