The Trump Administration said on Friday it plans to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement with or without Canada.
In response, the National Marine Manufacturers Association has issued a statement calling on the administration to keep Canada in the agreement. The U.S. has already completed a new trade agreement with Mexico.
The NMMA said a strong trilateral agreement is essential to tens of thousands of marine manufacturing jobs in North America. It called the agreement a “top priority” in its Currents newsletter.
“While the agreement between the United States and Mexico is good news for American manufacturers, maintaining the trilateral nature of the trade pact is vital to the continued success of the recreational boating industry,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich in a statement. “As America’s second largest trading partner, and our industry’s largest export market, Canada must be included before this deal is finalized and sent to Congress for approval.”
NMMA Canada President Sara Anghel called the Trump Administration’s announcement a “major setback” for Canada’s boating industry. Anghel said the $10 billion industry employs 75,000 Canadians.
“As long-standing trade partners, free and fair trade between our countries is imperative to the strength of our respective economies. In the absence of NAFTA, businesses and workers on both sides of the border will suffer,” said Anghel in Currents. “Negotiators must stay at the table until all parties are satisfied.”
Dammrich said a NAFTA “refresh” should put American workers and businesses in a position of strength. “That means promoting free and fair trade between all three countries so that American-made industries, like marine manufacturing, can flourish,” he said.