AIA Supports Strong U.S. Trade Ties with Canada and Mexico

The Aerospace Industries Association has long been an enthusiastic supporter of expanding free and fair trade to grow the U.S. economy. We support the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because an update has the potential to enhance economic opportunities both domestically and abroad.

The Trump Administration initiated the renegotiation of NAFTA, calling for “free, fair and reciprocal trade,” and placing a high priority on reducing trade deficits. The modernization of NAFTA after nearly a quarter of a century has the potential to improve the agreement by addressing issues such as digital trade, e-commerce, and enhanced intellectual property protections.

The aerospace and defense industry contributes the largest positive trade balance of any U.S. industry – more than $90 billion in 2016 – and supports more than 2.4 million jobs in the United States, comprising 13 percent of our nation’s manufacturing workforce. As the Administration embarks on a “mini round” of technical negotiations following the fifth round of talks to modernize NAFTA, it’s worth underscoring the importance to the aerospace and defense industry of improving and enhancing the trade ties among the parties.

Mexico is the U.S. aerospace and defense industry’s tenth largest exporting partner and seventh largest importer, while Canada is the fourth largest exporting partner and second largest importing partner. Therefore, AIA is concerned about calls to sunset the agreement after five years, and other proposals that may call into question American’s commitment to the region.

AIA supports improving the current system, enabling the U.S. aerospace industry to continue and enhance our global competitiveness. Both Canada and Mexico are integral parts of our industry’s global supply chain that sustains and grows our track record of success in the global marketplace.  Our industry also benefits from America’s robust economic, political and security ties with Canada and Mexico.

As negotiations continue, AIA encourages the Administration to prioritize policies that enable U.S. aerospace and defense companies to export more products and fulfill our industry’s great potential to create more high-skill, high-wage jobs in the United States.