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U.S. Senator Moran: NAFTA Has Positive Economic Impact

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran speaks on the Senate floor at a hearing last May.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas is working to help preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Republican senator wants the Trump administration to revamp the agreement, not end it.

Sen. Moran and two other Republican senators sent a letter in support of NAFTA to new U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who was confirmed by the Senate Thursday.

The letter says the agreement with Canada and Mexico has a positive economic impact and has led to tremendous growth in U.S trade. The senators also explain that because NAFTA is more than 20 years old, the policy will benefit from strengthening and modernization.

Kansas companies export more than $4 billion worth of goods and services to Canada and Mexico each year, and those two countries are repeatedly the top two export markets for the state. 

Moran and his colleagues are urging Lighthizer to keep NAFTA because they warn that abandoning it or imposing unnecessary restrictions on trade will have “devastating economic consequences.”

Here's the full text of the letter:

May 15, 2017 Ambassador Robert Lighthizer Office of the United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20006 Dear Ambassador Lighthizer, We write to congratulate you on your confirmation as United States Trade Representative. With your rich experience in international trade issues and negotiating trade agreements, we are pleased you are at the helm of the office that facilitates U.S. trade. U.S. trade policy has remained a prominent issue in recent months and it appears that taking a fresh look at the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be an immediate priority. Among other benefits, NAFTA has led to tremendous growth in U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada, integrated cross-border supply chains that benefit U.S. employers, and more than tripled U.S. exports of goods (including agricultural and manufactured goods) and services. Given that the agreement is more than two decades old, there are areas in which NAFTA will benefit from strengthening and modernization. On the other hand, efforts to abandon the agreement or impose unnecessary restrictions on trade with our North American partners will have devastating economic consequences. As senators who represent states that see a significant economic impact from trade, we will maintain a keen interest in the on-going process surrounding NAFTA and look forward to working with your office. ###


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

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Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.