On behalf of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) – the national trade association of the apparel and footwear industries, and their suppliers – I am writing to comment on the “Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) With Canada and Mexico.”
By way of background, the AAFA represents about 350 companies accounting for about 1000 brands. AAFA is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of $384 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. Our members design, make, market, and sell clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories in the United States and in nearly every country around the world. Realizing that our industry literally touches every human being on the planet, it is easy to see how our industry stands on the “frontlines of globalization.”
We are strong supporters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). During the past 24 years, our members have developed extensive supply chains that today account for millions of dollars of U.S. textile, apparel, and footwear exports and imports to NAFTA countries, directly and indirectly supporting millions of jobs in the United States, and benefitting communities and consumers throughout the United States, from Maine to Miami to Monterey.
As we engage in negotiations to modernize the NAFTA, it is our strong advice that the Administration keep four objectives in mind:
- Do No Harm
- Implement Any Changes In A Seamless Manner
- Keep The Agreement Trilateral
- Take Advantage of These Talks To Fix Other Problems
The FULL COMMENTS address all four points in more detail.