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San Diego Chamber Vice President Testifies on NAFTA

San Diego Chamber Vice President Testifies on NAFTA

The North American Free Trade AgreementNorth American Free Trade Agreement has increased San Diego’s competitiveness, with trade currently supporting an estimated 110,000 jobs in the region, the vice president for international business affairs of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, testified on Monday.

Paola Avila, who recently was named chair of the the Border Trade Alliance, a trade advocacy group, was among those speaking in favor of the treaty in San Antonio, Texas, before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness.

The field hearing on NAFTA’S modernization was held by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and NAFTA supporter. Negotiations over continuing the 24-year-old treaty that links the United States with Canada and Mexico are currently in their fifth round in Mexico City.

NAFTA is not a nice to have, it’s a must have,” Avila said. “It is the essential trade agreement that has enhanced prosperity, not only in the United States, but throughout the continent.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly assailed the treaty, saying it has led to a trade deficit with Mexico and cost U.S. manufacturing jobs. But Avila and other proponents say the treaty should be extended, albeit with updates.

A renewed agreement, “ought to reflect the broadband economy,” Avila said. The renegotiation also “presents an opportunity for greater cooperation on infrastructure.” at border crossings to meet the demands of rising trade, she said.

We also believe that greater cooperation on environmental infrastructure can be reflected in the new NAFTA,” Avila said. “In San Diego, we have been struggling with the impacts of northward flow of sewage from Mexico, something we believe can be avoided in the future through improved binational cooperation.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune
Sandra Dibble, Contact Reporter

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