BETHESDA, Md. — The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be modernized and expanded, not repealed, according to national auto aftermarket organizations of Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The Auto Care Association (ACA) joined July 13 with the Auto Industries Association of Canada (AIA) and Asociation Nacional De Representantes, Importadores y Distribuidores de Refacciones y Accesorios Para Automoviles A.C. (ARIDRA) in making a united statement about NAFTA to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
"NAFTA does much more than just reduce tariffs/duties," the three organizations wrote in their letter to U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer.
"It includes provisions to facilitate customs administration, it provides for protections for service providers, it includes investment disciplines that protect the rights of foreign investors, it protects intellectual property rights and it facilitates business travel."
If NAFTA were eliminated, import tariffs would revert to World Trade Organization rates for trade among the three nations, the associations said.
"This would cause extensive differences in duty rates for auto parts," they said. "The elimination of these duties under NAFTA promotes integrated supply chains, cost efficiencies and more options for U.S. purchasers and consumers."
The three trade groups said they supported modernizing the agreement to include e-commerce provisions and streamlining of customs procedures.
"A sizable number of citizens of all three countries do at least some shopping online, and one of NAFTA's largest shortcomings is its lack of e-commerce provisions that protect and promote cross-border transactions," they said. "Likewise, tremendous strides have been made in trade facilitation since NAFTA was adopted."
Their joint declaration to Mr. Lighthizer reflects a statement the groups' heads issued in mid-May following a meeting in San Antonio.