The Hill: Modern-day NAFTA must account for modern financial services firms

July 14, 2017

The Hill: Modern-day NAFTA must account for modern financial services firms

By Peter Matheson

The following op-ed was published in The Hill on July 13, 2017. 

Free and fair trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), expand opportunities for American companies to compete in global markets. Through them, the Trump administration can meet its stated goals to increase exports, create American jobs and boost U.S. economic growth.

Trade agreements allow our nation’s financial services firms to facilitate economic growth and development by broadening the range of vehicles for savings and investment, lowering the cost of capital for businesses and entrepreneurs and expanding the markets that customers in manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors can sell into.

NAFTA already helps the U.S. benefit from its competitive advantage in financial services. We have a $4.3-billion surplus in financial services trade with Canada and a $1.1-billion surplus with Mexico, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Yet, the world has changed a lot since NAFTA was enacted in 1994. Since then, the financial services sector – like many other sectors – has integrated new technologies, offered better goods and services and complied with a regulatory regime that is constantly evolving.

A NAFTA modernization can bring our current agreement fully into the 21st century. The U.S. Trade Representative set the negotiation clock ticking on May 18, with a 90-day notification to Congress, which would allow negotiations to begin this summer.  Continue reading …

Peter Matheson, Managing Director of International Policy & Advocacy, SIFMA