As top trade representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada are wrapping up the latest round of negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is saying withdrawing from the agreement would especially hit hard Midwestern industrial states and southern border states, including Arizona.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s projections, the top 10 hardest-hit states would be:
-Michigan -Wisconsin -North Dakota -Texas -Missouri -Ohio -Iowa -Indiana -Arizona -Nebraska
In Arizona, a withdrawal from NAFTA would especially impact the exports of commodities such as ores and produce and manufactured materials such as airplane engines, said Glen Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. The overwhelming majority of those exports go to Canada and Mexico, according to the U.S. Chamber’s projections.
“Well, I’ll give you a number: 230,000 jobs in Arizona are at risk if NAFTA goes bye-bye or is severely compromised,” Hamer said.
Representatives from the three countries said in a statement that this round would prioritize the least controversial issues. Hammer says that’s an opportunity to make upgrades that would benefit the entire region.
“If we don’t get trade right, this would be the mother of all self-inflicted wounds.”
Officials have said they are aiming to wrap up talks by March.