Olympia, WA | Jan 16-17
Brief Overview on Topics, including:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- The Columbia River Treaty
- Cascadia Innovation Corridor
- Carbon Tax
- Presentation on Invasive Species (PPT)
The NAFTA negotiations have moved into the sixth round in Montreal with some uncertainty regarding the path forward. Over the past two weeks, we had a chance to meet with some of our governors, legislative leaders, state departments of commerce and business stakeholders in Olympia, Boise and Juneau. One of the top issues discussed during our visits was NAFTA and the possible scenarios unfolding in the coming months. Some jurisdictions have proactively engaged stakeholders to get their input on the importance of NAFTA to share with the administration and our congressional delegation. Idaho recently hosted a small business forum with the SBA to better understand the benefits of NAFTA and to seek input on ways to improve it. We are continuing to encourage our regional business leaders to reach out to the administration and congress to provide input as we move forward.
The 5th round of the NAFTA negotiations began in Mexico today. This round will not be attended by the lead negotiators.
Last week during our Winter Meeting in Victoria B.C., the PNWER Delegate Council approved a resolution supporting the modernization of the NAFTA. See link. We also had a very good discussion on potential US withdrawal scenarios presented by Dan Ujczo from Dickinson Wright. This is a great overview of what could happen in the coming months and what role Congress might play.
PNWER had a chance to make the rounds in Washington DC earlier this week and met with trade staff from 10 different congressional offices and shared the PNWER NAFTA resolution as well as specific US-Canada trade stats for each district www.thebusinesscouncil.ca/canada-us-partnership. This valuable resource is provided by the Business Council of Canada. I encourage you to share this tool with your partners. All of the congressional offices I met with stated the importance of hearing from industry on the need to modernize the NAFTA and not withdraw.
SEATTLE. – The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) Delegate Council comprised of bipartisan legislators from the U.S. and Canada has just released a resolution on the North American Free Trade Agreement urging the U.S. and Canadian federal governments to support the North American economy and modernize NAFTA in a way that strengthens and mutually benefits both economies.
“NAFTA is important to our region’s economy, especially agriculture, and needs to be modernized. Walking away from NAFTA would have serious impacts to our integrated supply chains between the US and Canada, would result in loss of jobs, and would reduce our ability to compete in global markets.” said Matt Morrison, Executive Director of PNWER.
Canada is the United States’ largest export market, valued at US$320 billion in goods and services and the United States is Canada’s largest export market, valued at US$308 billion in goods and services, supporting 9 million jobs in the U.S., and 2.1 million jobs in Canada. In 2016, two-way trade within the PNWER region (AK, WA, OR, ID, MT and BC, AB, SK, NT, YK) totaled US$1.7 billion. (Specific export data to Canada by state and US congressional district, is available here.)
PNWER conducted a survey of key regional U.S. and Canadian industries, businesses, and stakeholders to develop a list of recommendations and overarching principles for a modernized NAFTA. The results of the survey were provided to both federal governments and can be viewed at www.pnwer.org/nafta-modernization.