Manufacturers Urge Ratification of TPP
“As you seek to advance the North American relationship this week, manufacturers in the United States urge you to build on the strong basis our three countries have forged by advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), taking additional actions to facilitate North American trade and investment and promoting a pro-growth business and innovation climate across North America.”
So wrote Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, in a letter sent to U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the North American Leaders’ Summit later this week.
Timmons urges leaders from the three countries to build on NAFTA and expand opportunity and growth in North America. The letter identifies a number of top priorities relating to the TPP, including intellectual property, innovation, regulatory issues, customs and trade facilitation, and energy.
“Since NAFTA was concluded, the economies of all three nations more than doubled,” Timmons noted, “producing higher living standards and increased North American commercial integration.”
TPP will build upon the NAFTA by further liberalizing trade and investment, including additional commitments on new issues and raising standards, Timmons argued. “Given the significant volume of trade across our borders, manufacturers are eager to decrease red tape, delays and other barriers to the predictable and efficient movement of goods,” he added. “While the NAFTA and other activities have improved the flow of trade across borders to record levels and the TPP will make additional progress,
more work is required to address the barriers and chokepoints that continue to impose unnecessary costs and delays that undermine our nations’ global competitiveness, particularly for our small businesses.”
NAM wants all three governments to invest in improved border infrastructures, to harmonize trusted trader programs between our three countries, and to coordinate cargo security screening processes. The organization also urge Canada and Mexico to raise the threshold under which products are not required to undergo customs processing and are not assessed border tariffs.
“The United States recently raised its de minimis level to $800,” Timmons noted, “and a similar move from our North American partners would greatly spur low-value shipments helping in particular small businesses in all three nations.”
Timmons also urged Mexico and Canada to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement this year, for all three countries to continue to combat counterfeiting, and to reduce barriers to energy infrastructure and promote cross-border investment.
“The opportunities for growth in manufacturing and beyond in North America can be meaningfully improved by the decisions you make this week and the follow-up actions your governments take in the weeks and months to come,” Timmons concluded. “I look forward to working with you and your governments to move forward a robust commercial agenda that will continue to spur growth in North America.”