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National Restaurant Association - What should the renegotiated NAFTA look like?

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What should the renegotiated NAFTA look like?

As the Trump Administration looks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we’re working to ensure the restaurant industry is included in the negotiations. Why? We’re concerned changes to trade policies could disrupt the supply chain, negatively impacting business and employment. Restaurants and foodservice companies depend on global supply chains and international trade to deliver fresh and seasonal food to their guests.

The National Restaurant Association is working with a broad coalition of food and agricultural trade groups to educate the Administration and Congress on our industry’s trade priorities within NAFTA. We also submitted comments in June to the U.S. Trade Representative outlining our renegotiation priorities.

“We urge Congress and the Administration to work with the business community to fully understand the impacts trade barriers would have on restaurants and consumers."

Laura Abshire, NRA director of sustainability policy

Here’s what we’re trying to protect:

  • Ensuring no additional tariffs are applied. Canada and Mexico are our largest suppliers of agricultural products. Mexico accounts for nearly 70 percent of our vegetable and 40 percent of our fruit imports. We’re also concerned about an Administration proposal making it easier for domestic producers to file antidumping/countervailing duty cases against Mexican and Canadian produce. That would impact the ability to purchase produce year-round at competitive prices.
  • Maintaining/expanding market access for our agriculture industry. Over the past 20 years, food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled, accounting for 25 percent of all U.S. agriculture exports. Maintaining and expanding market access between Canada, Mexico, and the United States is essential to the success of the North American trading market and businesses relying on it.
  • Maintaining open, rules-based trade that prevents barriers to supply chain commerce. Designing rules that fully encourage trade, reduce non-tariff barriers to commerce and promote transparency will benefit businesses and international supply chains. A renegotiated NAFTA agreement should also adopt commitments on food safety and protect intellectual property rights for registered and trademarked brands.

NAFTA took effect in 1994. It has been controversial ever since. In his campaign last year, President Trump vowed that the United States would exit the trade agreement if it can’t be renegotiated for a better deal.

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