Washington — Business Roundtable and the Business Council of Canada today released the following joint statement regarding negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“NAFTA provides millions of U.S. and Canadian citizens with good jobs. It drives economic development across the continent. We urge our respective governments to build upon the many benefits of NAFTA with a commitment to preserving the agreement’s trilateral structure. Forfeiting this three-nation partnership would destabilize North American supply chains, jeopardize jobs and undermine economic growth.
“Maintaining the trilateral structure of NAFTA is also paramount to combatting discriminatory trade practices by competitors such as China. International coordination that includes a powerful North American trading partnership is vital to presenting a united front against intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and other harmful barriers to trade and investment. Our goal is to expand trade in order to promote greater economic prosperity that benefits all of our citizens. A strong, trilateral partnership among the U.S., Canada and Mexico is a cornerstone of that prosperity.”
Business Roundtable CEO members lead companies with more than 16 million employees and more than $7 trillion in annual revenues. The combined market capitalization of BRT member companies is the equivalent of nearly 30 percent of total U.S. stock market capitalization and BRT members invest over $130 billion annually in research and development – equal to 38 percent of total U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay nearly $270 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate more than $440 billion in revenues for small and medium-sized businesses annually. BRT companies also make over $6 billion a year in charitable contributions.
Business Council of Canada
The Business Council of Canada is composed of the chief executives of Canada’s leading companies, representing every region and sector. The Council’s 150 member companies employ 1.7 million Canadians, account for more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, contribute the largest share of federal corporate taxes, and are responsible for most of Canada’s exports, corporate philanthropy, and private-sector investments in research and development.