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Readers support North American Free Trade Agreement.

The new Congress will have until the beginning of the summer to act on the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by Presidents Bush and Salinas and Prime Minister Mulroney in December. If Financial Executive readers have their way, Congress would ratify the agreement without hesitation.

Financial Executive's November/December One-Minute Survey asked readers if they support NAFTA and what concerns they have about the agreement. The response was overwhelmingly in favor: 84 percent of the readers responding to the survey support the agreement. Only 6 percent say they are not in favor of it, and 9 percent are undecided.

But, while 84 percent support the agreement, 75 percent say it will be good for the economy, and, in fact, 22 percent say it will be bad for the economy.

More of the respondents are concerned that NAFTA will cause environmental pollution than they are about the loss of sales or jobs. Thirty-one percent say they are concerned that NAFTA will result in environmental pollution, compared with 25 percent who say they fear a loss of jobs and 16 percent who fear loss of sales. But, according to a financial executive from a major U.S. manufacturer, even though the agreement will result in environmental pollution, in the long run we'll be better off: "Abuses will lead to corrective legislation and a better environment for all sooner than otherwise!" He goes on to say that "North America is a huge market. Companies need to focus on productivity, service, quality, and costs, not barriers. This will be best for Americans dealing both abroad and at home." And, according to another respondent, "Freer trade will benefit North American consumers and speed up the remedies on a number of Mexican social problems."

A Canadian bank executive says NAFTA will not result in a loss of jobs, and that the labor movement's fears are not justified: "We need to educate the labor movement that NAFTA is not a threat to jobs in Canada or in the U.S., but rather it is an opportunity for growth," he says. "Mexico will be the major market for the U.S. in 10 years," says the chief financial officer of another large manufacturer.

The greatest percentage of respondents--47 percent--are from manufacturing organizations; 13 percent are from banking, insurance, or financial organizations, with the balance from retail/wholesale and other service organizations. Eighty-one percent are from companies headquartered in the U.S.; 9 percent are from Canada.
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Title Annotation:Financial Executive One-Minute Survey Results
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Previous Article:The name of the GAO's game is more legislation.
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