The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) supports the North American Free Trade Agreement, stating NAFTA’s success of creating American jobs and contributing to the growth of the U.S. economy.
The powered industrial truck (forklifts) industry annually exports over $900 million of equipment to Canada and Mexico duty free under NAFTA. This equates to an annual trade surplus of over $400 million.
“NAFTA provides the opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to sell American made forklifts shipped to Canada and Mexico duty free. Without NAFTA these products would face substantial tariffs, putting them at a competitive disadvantage with manufacturers from other countries that enjoy duty free status,” says Brian Feehan, president of the ITA. “The $900 million of products shipped to Canada and Mexico are built right here — in places like Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and many more U.S. cities.”
Forklift truck sales in the North America market continue their unprecedented increase. 2017 marked the third consecutive year of growth, with over a quarter million units sold in 2017, representing a 9.5% increase from 2016 and a 12.2% increase over 2015. The industry supports 209,000 U.S. jobs.
“The U.S. economy is growing, tax reform is providing confidence for businesses investments and unemployment is low. NAFTA remains an important component to maintaining this momentum,” says Feehan.
NAFTA was founded 23 years ago — before major technological and energy innovations helped transform what and how the U.S. manufactures today. While U.S. negotiators sought to level the playing field fully in the original NAFTA, barriers and weaker standards remain in both Canada and Mexico.
ITA supports modernizing and improving NAFTA through the elimination of remaining market distortions and barriers in Canada and Mexico; raising standards to U.S. levels with respect to science-based regulatory practices, transparency, competition, the protection of private property and intellectual property; updating the agreement to include new digital trade provisions important to small manufacturers and those creating and relying on new technologies; and removing unnecessary red tape at the border and duplicative regulations that are holding manufacturers back.
“NAFTA can and should continue to help grow high-paying American jobs, expand the nations’ manufacturing and improve its global competitiveness,” says Feehan.