Quotable Quotes

Quotable Quotes

On NAFTA and Free Trade

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue  (February 2017)

  • “Our nations are linked not only by continent, but also by culture, by commerce, and by common interest. We have long shared core values and a commitment to free enterprise, free markets, and open trade. It is no exaggeration to say that the U.S.-Canada relationship has never been stronger than it is today. Our relationship has helped establish North America as the world’s most competitive economic region.”
  • “Withdrawing from NAFTA would be devastating for the workers, businesses, and economies of our countries.”
  • “Under NAFTA, Canada and Mexico are the top two U.S. export markets in the world. The jobs of 14 million Americans depend on the agreement.”
  • “Should we consider taking steps to modernize the rules of our trading relationship? Prime Minister Trudeau and Mexican President Pena-Nieto have said they are open to doing so. Remember, things like e-commerce and the digital economy didn’t even exist when NAFTA was negotiated more than two decades ago. To address areas open for modernization or improvement, we would insist on doing it in a way that doesn’t disrupt the $1.3 trillion (US) worth of trade that depends on NAFTA.”
  • “As this debate unfolds, the U.S. Chamber will have a seat at the table, and we’ll use it to fight for our shared priorities—and we’re going to ask our friends to our north and south to do the same.”
  • “We understand that further integrating our economies will drive benefits on both sides of the border, creating stronger economic growth and greater opportunities for our people. And we know that if we seize opportunities in trade, energy, infrastructure, supply chains, and human capital, we can sharpen our competitiveness in a global economy—and we can be a powerful and positive influence in the world.”

Mack McLarty - former White House Chief of Staff and Special Envoy to the Americas

Penny Pritzker – former Secretary of Commerce (LA Times May 17th, 2017)

  • “A few days after marking its first 100 days in office, the Trump administration closed in on another milestone:$300 billion (US).That’s the total value of goods that crossed U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico between Inauguration Day and April 29”.
  • “NAFTA is wiring that connects and provides power to large parts of the American economy”
  • “NAFTA deserves much of the credit for transforming North America from a region characterized by suspicion into one where together we can confront transnational security and economic threats.”

Matthey Rooney – Director, Economic Growth – George W. Bush Institute (April 28, 2017)

  • “NAFTA also creates substantial benefits for all three countries that extend beyond the sphere of trade.NAFTA has driven a process of converging environmental standards, safety regulations, and rules of business ethics that has improved working and living conditions in all three countries.These common standards signal credibility to the rest of the world, which has allowed North America to attract growing levels of international investment since the beginning of NAFTA.”
  • “Efforts to retreat from the global marketplace will only undercut the gains the U.S. has achieved from free trade, like more affordable consumer goods and the ability to capture competitive gains from specialization across the North American continent”

Premier Brad Wall (Speech to Iowa, April 2017)

  • “Canada and the United States have forged one of the most successful economic partnerships the world has ever seen.Millions of families on both sides of the borders benefit from trade.Now, more than ever, we need to actively promote the advantages of trade and point out the dangers of protectionism.We must be vigilant in protecting our shared prosperity.”

Ambassador Terry Miller - Director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation (February 2017)

  • “NAFTA is a more substantial agreement and a more significant concern (than TPP). An established arrangement, its provisions are now embedded in the fabric of everyday investment, production, and consumption decisions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • “Casual overthrow of NAFTA rules and regulations could have devastating costs for millions of Americans. That's not to say that NAFTA shouldn't be renegotiated. Improvement is possible in many areas. Energy, for example, was deemed too difficult an issue to handle in the 1990s. It might now be ripe for inclusion in an updated NAFTA.”

Senator Ben Sasse (Republican-Nebraska.)

  • “Scrapping NAFTA would be a disastrously bad idea. It would hurt American families at the check-out, and it would cripple American producers in the field and the office. Yes, there are places where our agreements could be modernized but here’s the bottom line: trade lowers prices for American consumers and it expands markets for American goods. Risking trade wars is reckless, not wise.”

Bloomberg News (May 9, 2017)

  • NAFTA’s demise and a potential trade spat on the continent would disrupt and possibly cripple that flow, and send manufacturers to seek cheaper supplies overseas, according to Joseph Parilla, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    “If we diminish our competitiveness in a way that makes it more attractive for those supply chains to just fully up and leave North America, that could essentially be the death knell for American manufacturing,” he said.

John F. Kerry  - United States Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017

  • “NAFTA recognizes the reality of today's economy - globalization and technology. Our future is not in competing at the low-level wage job; it is in creating high-wage, new technology jobs based on our skills and our productivity.”

 On Soft Wood Lumber Tariffs and Protectionism

U.S. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

  • “NAHB is deeply disappointed in this short-sighted action by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will ultimately do nothing to resolve issues causing the U.S.-Canadian lumber trade dispute but will negatively harm American consumers and housing affordability.”

 Mark J. Perry – Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Michigan

  • “… American lumber-buying companies (mostly homebuilders) will pay the tariff, which will be passed along to home buyers in the form of higher new home prices. Therefore, it’s more accurate to report that Trump has just slapped stiff 20% tariffs (lumber taxes) on the American people, not Canada.
  • “Protectionism should be seen for what it really is: Trade policies that favor domestic producers over consumers, raise taxes and prices for Americans, and in the process destroy jobs and prosperity. In other words, it’s a sure formula to make a country poor, not great.”
  • “Bottom Line: To paraphrase a comment Milton Friedman once made about minimum wage laws, trade protectionism is a monument to the power of superficial thinking. Superficial and short-sighted because it ignores the complexities and dynamics of world markets, and ignores all of the unseen, delayed and hidden costs of trade protectionism that will make the American economy weak again, not great again. “

Barrie McKenna – The Globe and Mail Business Reporter (October 2015)

  • “Fighting over softwood lumber is absurd.The two countries are neighbours and free-trade partners in a mostly integrated North American economy.Canada has a product the U.S. badly needs to drive its housing industry.And in spite of numerous rounds of litigation, the U.S. has been unable to make allegations of unfair subsidies stick”

On Keystone XL and the Movement of Oil & Gas

Thomas A. Shannon Jr. – Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs – “Record of Decision and National Interest Determination on KXL” (March 23, 2017)

  • “Canadian oil is a relatively stable and secure source of energy supply for many reasons, and few countries share all of the political or physical characteristics that enable Canada to remain in this position.”
  • “Moreover, as the Canadian government’s conditional approval of the Tranas Mountain pipeline illustrates, failure to approve new trans-boundary pipeline infrastructure may redirect this source of reliable supply to Asian markets.”

Daniel Yergin -  Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and co-founder and chairman of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (March 6, 2017)

  • “The growing energy integration of North America is very beneficial to all three countries.U.S. natural gas producers get additional markets, while Mexican consumers get lower-priced electricity generated with that gas. Canadians get markets for their oil, reducing U.S. reliance on Venezuelan oil, while American workers in manufacturing benefit from big equipment markets to the north.”