Barry Kennedy, David Brown and Wendy Birdsall: NAFTA is a key for Nebraska’s economy

22 Jan 2018

Kennedy is president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Brown is president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and Birdsall is president and CEO of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.

Nebraska and its economy are dependent upon free trade, especially trade with America’s neighbors. This fact was highlighted in a recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which found that Nebraska would be one of the 10 states most negatively affected by the United States withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

That is why we are concerned by threats from the White House to withdraw the United States from the trade agreement altogether. These threats must be taken seriously.

According to the U.S. Chamber, repeal of NAFTA would risk the following:

» Nearly 90,000 Nebraska jobs.

» More than $2.6 billion in export revenue from Canada and Mexico.

» More than 40 percent of Nebraska’s exports currently going to customers in Canada and Mexico, generating more than $2.6 billion in export revenue.

A trade agreement is like any other policy; it needs to be updated occasionally. As representatives of the business community, we agree with President Donald Trump’s goal of modernizing the 23-year-old NAFTA.

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