NRF welcomes signing of NAFTA update, urges approval by Congress

"This new pact takes many important steps toward giving us a modern trade agreement."

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation welcomed today’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and called for the measure – which would replace the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement – to be approved by Congress next year.

“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,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This new pact takes many important steps toward giving us a modern trade agreement with our two neighboring countries and continues the trilateral framework that protects North American supply chains, supports millions of U.S. 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.”

The new agreement, which was announced in early October, was signed today in Buenos Aires by President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they attended a Group of 20 economic conference. The agreement is subject to approval by Congress and votes by the Canadian Parliament and Mexican Congress are also required.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest-private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.