Fri January 19, 2018

Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) staff joined with other pro-trade advocates to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) last week, with meetings in every Senate office on January 17 and meetings with key members of the House of Representatives on January 18.

Representatives from manufacturing, agriculture and financial services visited all 100 Senate offices urging senators and their staffs to impress upon the Trump Administration that the nearly 24-year old agreement is working and that it should be strengthened instead of terminated. Both the Senate offices and the key representatives on the House side were very responsive and expressed support for maintaining and strengthening NAFTA after hearing stories of the successes that companies in their states have had under the agreement. They were appreciative to learn the pro-active ideas presented to modernize the agreement to increase market access to Canada and Mexico and provide a stronger outlook for the economy and job creation for U.S. companies.

PLASTICS shared the priorities of the North American plastics associations—PLASTICS, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and the Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C. (ANIPAC)—agreed to last July at a meeting in Mexico City. Those priorities had been shared previously with the Trump Administration, the chairmen and ranking members of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance, the latter two of which have congressional jurisdiction over trade.

The sixth round of NAFTA negotiations began on January 21 in Montreal for more than a week’s worth of talks between the three countries. Patty Long, executive vice president of PLASTICS, is meeting in Montreal with the leadership from CPIA and ANIPAC to reaffirm each association’s support for continuing and strengthening NAFTA, to discuss the industry’s priorities with key negotiators and to evaluate the negotiations to date for any strategic changes that need to be made going forward to the seventh round in March.