Interview with Top executives

Topic

The revised-NAFTA or the USMCA has been signed by leaders of the US, Mexico and Canada, bringing an end to the economic uncertainty created by the acrimonious 15-month negotiation process. What is your reading about the new deal?

The new deal is better than NAFTA for the US textile industry
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was signed recently on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. Fibre2Fashion lists reactions from three US trade bodies.

 

At 25 years old, NAFTA was in need of an update, particularly in areas like digital commerce that didn't exist a quarter-century ago. This new pact takes many important steps toward giving us a modern trade agreement with our two neighbouring countries and continues the trilateral framework that protects North American supply chains, supports millions of US jobs and helps retailers provide American families with the products they need at prices they can afford.

While there may be disagreements over details, it is critical that Congress approves this agreement in 2019 and that NAFTA remains in place until that can be done. The administration should continue to work to quickly resolve the outstanding issues. Withdrawal without a replacement is simply not an option.

We also encourage the administration to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs from Canada and Mexico now that the agreement is signed.

On behalf of the US textile industry, we thank President Trump, Ambassador Lighthizer and the entire US negotiating team for their hard work in getting USMCA done.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) was in continuous communication with US negotiators during USMCA talks, urging them to preserve and enhance the North American textile supply chain, and the deal reflects many of NCTO's priorities. The new deal is better than NAFTA for the US textile industry in many aspects and NCTO is pleased to endorse it.

USMCA improvements over NAFTA include: a standalone chapter for textile and apparel (NAFTA does not have a separate chapter covering textile and apparel rules of origin); stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics; fixing the Kissell Amendment loophole; and stronger rules for customs enforcement.

We caution the Trump administration against terminating the NAFTA prior to the ratification and implementation of the new USMCA.

Terminating NAFTA before USMCA is ratified (by the Congress, the Canadian Parliament and Mexican Congress) will definitely create economic havoc and uncertainty for American companies who conduct business in the region. 

We have continuously told the Administration throughout the USMCA process that it is essential for the new agreement to be implemented seamlessly, so that our businesses can learn the new rules and have time to adjust our supply chains to take advantage of the deal. Adding additional pressure on Congress to sign or fail is not in the best interest of America.

Published on: 22/12/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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