As NAFTA Talks Resume, New Business Poll Backs Staying in Pact

Amid the latest round of NAFTA talks and a White House meeting with a key lawmaker on trade, a poll released by a business group Monday found that a majority of its members believe that the U.S. economy would be adversely affected if President Donald Trump follows through on his threats to withdraw from the trade agreement.

The policy poll conducted by the National Association for Business Economics comes a day after the United States, Canada and Mexico met in Mexico City for the seventh round of talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. The session ends March 5.

“Panelists overwhelmingly (61%) feel that U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would have a consequential and unfavorable impact on the U.S. economy,″ said the business group, which based its conclusions on 211 members who responded to the query. Another 30 percent said withdrawal from NAFTA would have consequential effects on the economy. Just 1 percent viewed leaving NAFTA favorably and 3 percent thought such an action would be inconsequential.

The survey is just the latest indication that NAFTA continues to enjoy the support of businesses despite Trump’s threats to withdraw if negotiations prove unfavorable to the United States. The pact generates more than $1 trillion a year in trade among the three countries and key industries such as autos have integrated supply chains that move components and finished products across the borders of the three countries.

Trump and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, are expected to meet Monday afternoon to discuss a number of trade-related issues, including NAFTA, according to a White House official.



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