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U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMMENTS ON NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

 U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COMMENTS
 ON NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Willard A. Workman, vice president, international, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following comment on the North American Free Trade Agreement:
 The North American Free Trade Agreement announced this morning will provide new opportunities to American businesses, especially small and medium ones. We applaud the hard work of the negotiators from all three nations.
 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 200,000 mostly small and medium companies, has strongly supported the concept of a NAFTA. If the proposed NAFTA meets the benchmarks our board of directors established almost two year ago -- as it appears to do -- we will work for its approval. We also will examine NAFTA-related proposals on environmental concerns and assistance to American companies and workers.
 NAFTA will generate a net increase in jobs, exports and investment opportunities for the United States, providing a welcome boost to our sluggish economy.


h?e NAFTA is positive for U.S. business because it:
 -- Reduces 50 percent of tariffs immediately and all of them within 15 years.
 -- Contains rules of origin to ensure that benefits accrue to North American companies, not to third parties.
 -- Reduces Canadian and Mexican barriers to U.S. service companies.
 -- Retains strong U.S. trade remedies to deal with dumped or subsidized products.
 -- Reduces measures to force investment in particular sectors of a country's economy and increases reliance on market forces.
 -- Establishes a process for the upward harmonization of North American health, safety and industrial standards.
 -- Increases protection of intellectual property.
 Two and one-half million U.S. jobs are tied to the almost $130 billion in annual exports to Mexico and Canada. A NAFTA that expands this base will help the U.S. economy and make American companies more competitive internationally. Eighty-five percent of U.S. exports to Mexico are manufactured goods made by highly skilled, highly paid U.S. workers. A NAFTA will increase the number of such exports and high-paying jobs. finally, a NAFTA will expand U.S. access to the $430 billion Canadian and Mexican services markets.
 Mexico and Canada also will benefit from a NAFTA. Two million Canadian jobs are linked to exports to the United States. A NAFTA- induced growth in trade should create even more jobs in Canada. Under the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, Canada has enjoyed its first net investment inflows in 16 years, from $3 billion to $5 billion each year since 1990. A NAFTA should attract even more investment.
 Mexico's economic growth will be more than 4 percent in 1992. Such growth, coupled with the anticipation of a NAFTA and recent Mexican economic reforms, has made Mexico the investment of choice in North America, with foreign direct investment totaling $5 billion last year, supplemented by the return of another $2.9 billion in Mexican "flight" capital. A NAFTA will accelerate investment in Mexico, fueling the economic growth Mexico will need to improve protection of the environment and sustain increased imports of U.S. goods and services.
 -0- 8/12/92
 /NOTE: Workman is available for further comment.
 Ambassador Carla Hills will brief the business community on the NAFTA at 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 13, in the Hall of Flags, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St. N.W., Washington. Media is invited./
 /CONTACT: Thomas Love of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 202-463-5682/ CO: U.S. Chamber of Commerce ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE


TW -- DC011 -- 9278 08/12/92 09:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 12, 1992
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