Canadian Consul-General Defends NAFTA To Wyoming Senate
The Canadian Consul-General from the Canadian Consulate in Denver told Wyoming lawmakers Friday that while his country is open to adjustments to the NAFTA trade agreement, the deal should not be torn up.
President Donald Trump was a vocal critic of the trade agreement during the 2016 presidential campaign and has criticized the agreement many times.
Stephane Lessard said annual trade between the U.S. and Canada is worth about $700 billion and is fair to both countries.
Lessard said Canada is Wyoming's largest trading partner and second largest export market, adding trade between the Cowboy State and Canada is worth about $1 billion annually. He said 38 Canadian companies have invested in Wyoming. He also said Canadian tourists also contribute to the state economy, with over 150,000 Canadians visiting the state in 2015 "spending millions of dollars."
Lessard said Canada is open to updating the agreement and making some changes. But he said the agreement needs to be modernized rather than eliminated. He also said his country is against protectionist policies, such as "Buy American" provisions and country of origin labeling.
Lessard says over the long run protectionist policies will hurt both countries.