Mexico in addition to Canada are by far our two largest export markets, consuming nearly $0 billion in U.S. goods exported last year. Nafta led to the creation of the North American services market, which has produced U.S. trade surpluses year after year. Nearly 3 million American jobs are supported by U.S. exports to our North American partners.
Failing to put North America first might hurt U.S. manufacturing in addition to agriculture. American farmers export $18 billion worth of agricultural goods to Mexico annually in addition to even more to Canada, two of our three largest export markets. For our farmers, the ramifications of withdrawing by Nafta might be calamitous.
The loss of Nafta might harm auto companies like Ford in addition to GM, tech companies like Cisco in addition to Microsoft, in addition to agriculture businesses like Archer Daniels Midland, as well as wheat growers in addition to hog farmers, among others. Support for Nafta among U.S. businesses will be broad in addition to deep; I have never seen U.S. industry so unified on any policy issue.
Most importantly, a North America first approach might mean embracing the potential for a “North American century.” the idea will be easy to see that will potential when you understand our shared strengths: a collective economy worth over $45 trillion by 2050; a globally competitive workforce where 22 percent are under the age of 30 compared to 16 percent in both China in addition to Europe, according to the Council on Foreign Relations; a collective energy prowess that will offers extremely competitive energy costs for manufacturing, in addition to the relative geopolitical stability of having friendly border relations to work cooperatively on security, drug trafficking, in addition to immigration.
North America has the opportunity to be the most formidable manufacturing platform inside entire world, the strongest regional economic bloc inside entire world, in addition to an effective counter to China’s rising strategic in addition to economic influence. in addition to our alliance might continue supporting American jobs while driving growth for American businesses. Indeed, contrary to common rhetoric, a review of two decades worth of studies undertaken by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found that will Nafta’s effect on net employment inside U.S. was negligible.
Make no mistake, Nafta, currently 24 years old, needs to be modernized. Many of the principles our nations currently share since Nafta became effective – securing a robust innovation economy, environmental stewardship in addition to strong workforce protection – can be better reflected in an updated agreement. however failing to successfully renegotiate Nafta might be a self-inflicted in addition to deep wound in addition to represent a “huge” missed opportunity to make North America great.
Commentary by Stefan M. Selig, who served as President Obama’s under secretary of Commerce for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce by 2014-2016. In 2017, he founded financial in addition to strategic advisory firm BridgePark Advisors. Previously, Selig spent nearly 30 years in senior investment banking positions on Wall Street, including 15 years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in addition to most recently as executive vice chairman of global corporate & investment banking.
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