Trucking Trade Groups Support NAFTA
The North American truck-transported trade supports tens of thousands of jobs and generates billions in revenue annually, according to a statement from the American Trucking Association (ATA), Cámara Nacional del Autotraporte de Carga (CANACAR), and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
“Trucking and trade are synonymous,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. In the US alone, crossborder trade supports 46,000 trucking jobs, including 31,000 drivers, and generates $6.5 billion annually.
“Our industry demonstrates how trade creates good, solid long-term jobs across the continent,” said the statement. “The ripple effects are significant, too. In order to haul all the trade across our borders, our industries have to buy a significant amount of goods and services, from equipment to fuel to tires to insurance.
“The trucking industries in Canada, Mexico, and the United States have all benefited significantly from NAFTA and we, the national trucking associations from all three countries, urge negotiators to update the trade agreement in a manner that continues to benefit trade,” the joint statement said.
“We strongly encourage our governments to update NAFTA to keep North America competitive internationally. In this endeavor, making border crossings and rules governing international commercial transportation more efficient is a crucial element that will only help our industries make North America stronger.”
The NAFTA renegotiation has gone through four rounds thus far, the most recent wrapping up in Washington in mid-October. On that occasion, negotiators appeared pessimistic about the prospects for bridging gaps anytime soon, with Canada and Mexico reluctant to adopt US proposals meant to close the trade deficits with its two NAFTA partners. United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also threatened Canada and Mexico that the US would not encourage American firms to invest in the other two countries.
Mexico will host the fifth round of talks in Mexico City from November 17 to 21. Additional negotiating rounds will be scheduled through the first quarter of 2018.
Since NAFTA came on the books in 1995, the value of Canada-US surface trade has increased 76 percent, while US-Mexico surface trade has increased 372 percent. Laredo, Texas, alone accounts for 6,000 crossings per day, making it the largest land port in the US. Both borders now see 12 million truck crossings per year.