Draft Resolution Urging the Presidential Administration and Congress to Support International Trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)


International Trade is critical for American jobs and the economy, responsible for 41 million jobs including half of the country’s 12 million manufacturing jobs, and generated over $2.3 trillion in 2014. The United States, Canada, and Mexico enjoy a critical, robust, and longstanding economic partnership. The North American Free Trade Agreement, specifically, has generated substantial new opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, consumers, and businesses. As the Administration and Congress look at existing and potential future U.S. trade agreements, this resolution calls on them to support free trade policies focused on creating market-opening access and opportunities for American companies to compete on a level-playing field and reach the 95% of the global population outside our borders.

Draft Resolution Urging the Presidential Administration and Congress to Support International Trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Whereas, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policy on free trade acknowledges that, “the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade…are deterrents to American economic interests;” and

Whereas, a longstanding, close tri-lateral relationship, codified in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has existed between the United States, Canada, and Mexico for more than 20 years and has proven economically, culturally and strategically important for all parties; and

Whereas, together, the United States and Canada and Mexico promote a shared belief in freedom, representative democracy and market principles as recognized in the U.S. Constitution; and

Whereas, trade with Canada and Mexico supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and nearly 5 million of those jobs are supported by increased trade generated by NAFTA; and

Whereas, for 43 states in the United States, Canada and Mexico represent their first or second largest export market and all but one U.S. state counts Canada or Mexico as a top three trading partner; and

Whereas, since NAFTA entered into force in 1994, trade with Canada and Mexico has nearly quadrupled to $1.3 trillion, and the two countries buy more than one-third of U.S. merchandise exports; and

Whereas, the United States ran a cumulative trade surplus in manufactured goods with Canada and Mexico of more than $79 billion over the seven year period from 2008-2014 with a surplus in services of $41.8 billion in 2014, alone; and

Whereas, NAFTA has been a boon to competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, which added more than 800,000 jobs in the four years after NAFTA entered into force, with Canadians and Mexicans purchasing $487 billion of U.S. manufactured goods in 2014 generating nearly $40,000 in export revenue for every American factory worker; and

Whereas, NAFTA has contributed to a 350% increase in U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico; and

Whereas, U.S. service exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled, rising from $27 billion in 1993 to $92 billion in 2014, thanks to new market access and clearer rules afforded by NAFTA; and

Whereas, Canada and Mexico are the top two export destinations for U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises, more than 125,000 of which sold their goods and services in Canada and Mexico in 2014; now

Therefore be it resolved, that ALEC supports international free trade and the continuation and strengthening of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); and

Be it further resolved, that ALEC urges the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States to modernize NAFTA and to update and improve the agreement; and

Be it further resolved, that upon adoption, an official copy of this Resolution be prepared and presented to the President of the United States, to the Chairmen and Ranking members, and all other members of the U.S. Senate Finance and the U.S. House Ways and Means Committees, to the members of the Senate and House Advisory Groups on Negotiations, to the U.S. Trade Representative, to the U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, State, and Labor, and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.