Press Release

ALEC Adopts Model Policy in Support of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)


Contact: Alyssa Hackbarth


ARLINGTON, VA (October 12, 2017) – In light of the ongoing negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), ALEC adopted a model policy at the most recent meeting of the Task Force on Federalism and International Relations reiterating the organization’s commitment to international trade for the benefit of the American economy and jobs. The model policy urges the Administration to preserve the economic and commercial benefits of trade with Canada and Mexico facilitated by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The model policy notes that ALEC “supports international free trade and the continuation and strengthening of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)” and calls upon the President and Congress to “modernize NAFTA and to update and improve the agreement.”

Lisa B. Nelson, ALEC’s CEO observed that “Free markets are one of ALEC’s three guiding principles so it is not a surprise that our members recognize the importance of international trade to their state economies. Because of the Agreement’s wide-reaching impact on jobs and economic growth, they are particularly aware that NAFTA, while standing to benefit from updates and modernization, is a vital part of the trade landscape.” This model policy was formally approved in September by the ALEC Board of Directors.

Stakeholders from across the country have expressed concerns regarding the future of U.S. international trade policy while recognizing the need to update and modernize NAFTA, which entered into force in 1994. Utah state lawmaker and Chair of the ALEC International Trade Subcommittee Representative Kay Christofferson remarked that “NAFTA is a critical facilitator of trade with Canada and Mexico. 17 percent of Utah’s exports go to our northern and southern neighbors and more than 125,000 jobs in my state are tied to trade with Canada and Mexico which makes NAFTA good for Utah and the people in my district.” The model policy notes that “the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade…are deterrents to American economic interests;” and emphasizes the numerous benefits that NAFTA has provided for U.S. workers and consumers.

Trade with Canada and Mexico supports nearly 14 million American jobs and all but one U.S. state count Canada or Mexico as a top three trading partner. NAFTA has contributed to a 350 percent increase in American agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico and a tripling in service exports to America’s NAFTA trading partners due to new market access and clearer rules resulting from the Agreement. International trade, in general, and NAFTA, in particular, benefit the states and the nation.

The approved model policy can be found here.

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