SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Now that the US President is backing away from threats to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), local business leaders are still worried Donald Trump will kill jobs on both sides of the border.
Luke Arathoon with the Surrey Board of Trade says local manufacturing companies have the most to lose.
“Many of those manufacturers do sell into the United States. If NAFTA was to be torn up, we could definitely see their businesses being effected directly. Are there going to be ridiculous tariffs that are going to be applied to my goods going into the US. What about my current shipments? I have deals with current clients in the US that are three months, six months, a year down the line already brokered –how is this now going to affect my bottom line?”
He adds everyone will be closely watching what happens when NAFTA talks resume later this month in Montreal (January 23rd).
“We’re always concerned when trade agreements are being spoken about to be torn up or just tossed away. There needs to be some sort of safety net. If the US does cancel NAFTA, there should be some sort of buffer to ensure that there’s no added tariffs or ridiculous amounts of bureaucracy that comes up.”
The head of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Iain Black, has also expressed concern about Trump repeatedly threatening to cancel NAFTA, but he now appears to be listening to White House advisers who believe American farmers will suffer if that happens.