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Canadian Businesses, Organizations Continue to Turn to Chamber CEO for Insight on NAFTA

By: Michael Lewis II

With the Trump Administration re-opening the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah continues to receive requests to provide insights based on his current role at the Chamber and his past work in Washington, D.C.  While NAFTA negotiations are not getting much attention in the U.S., it is a significant issue for Canadian executives.

Last week, Baruah joined a panel in Toronto to discuss the future of the NAFTA, border security, and the impact on trade between Canada and the United States that included Perrin Beatty, CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Steve Verheul, Canada’s Chief NAFTA negotiator.  Baruah served a similar role in June when he addressed the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal.

Verheul noted that Canada and Mexico are aligned on several key areas of negotiation and the U.S. representatives have yet to put forth proposals in areas of interest to the U.S. team.  Baruah noted that from a U.S. business perspective, the first goal for a revised NAFTA was to “do no harm” as the supplies chains, especially in automotive, are tightly and delicately integrated across the NAFTA region.  Disruptions to this supply chain could cause significant economic and job loss in Michigan and other states.

The Detroit Regional Chamber has endorsed the NAFTA framework and recognizes the importance of the agreement to Michigan businesses.

Michael Lewis II is digital marketing coordinator at the Detroit Regional Chamber.