Comments Made at USTR Hearing
(Washington, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today outlined areas of focus for the forthcoming modernization talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during a hearing by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Melissa San Miguel, GMA’s senior director of Global Strategies, discussed the ways in which NAFTA must be preserved and updated in order to continue to support the 2.1 million grocery manufacturing jobs in this nation. Key points from her testimony are below (full text can be found here):
“NAFTA has provided significant economic opportunities to the U.S. grocery manufacturing industry, and has helped our manufacturers support millions of jobs for American workers.
“To maintain current employment opportunities and drive future growth in the U.S. food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturing industry, GMA urges the Trump Administration to consider the following priority objectives for modernizing NAFTA: maintain comprehensive, tariff-free trade in food, beverage, and consumer products and remove any tariff barriers, quotas, and/or other limitations to market access for goods traded among NAFTA countries; update rules that increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies; and concretely align regulations among the United States, Canada, and Mexico in order to decrease costs associated with unnecessary regulatory differences.
“U.S. processed food and beverage exports totaled around $40 billion in 2016, which is roughly a third of all U.S. agricultural exports, and approximately $17.6 billion of those processed food and beverage exports were destined for Canada and Mexico. With 95 percent of the world’s potential consumers living outside the United States, exports to foreign markets are key to future growth and employment in U.S. grocery manufacturing, and a strong NAFTA agreement is critical for success.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry plays a unique role as the single largest U.S. manufacturing employment sector, with 2.1 million jobs in 30,000 communities across the country that deliver products vital to the wellbeing of people in our nation and around world. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives. For more information, visit gmaonline.org.