Following up on their February 2017 open letter to Utah’s congressional leaders, the Salt Lake Chamber and World Trade Center Utah recently submitted comments to the federal register regarding forthcoming North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

The letter was addressed to the chair of the Trade Policy Staff Committee and reiterated the essential role trade plays in Utah’s economy as well as the business community’s commitment and vested interest in advocating for the improvement and modernization of existing free trade agreements. Mexico and Canada are especially important trade markets for Utah companies. To illustrate, Utah exports to Canada have grown 40 percent over the last 10 years, and our exports to Mexico have grown 231 percent during that same time frame.

A section of the comments read, “as representatives of Utah’s business community, we understand that NAFTA needs to be updated in key areas like ecommerce and information technology. Such industries did not exist when NAFTA was first created and consequently have not been incorporated into the equation. While modernization is reasonable, the establishment of trade standards, protection of intellectual property rights, promotion of environmental protections, and the expansion of foreign markets that free trade agreements facilitate should not be abandoned. We hope to see NAFTA updated in such a way that will not upset the current trade Utah does with these neighboring countries.”

To read the full comments sent to the Federal Register, click here.