June 13, 2018
The North American commercial market is one of the most important markets for manufacturers in the United States. More than one-third of exports manufactured in the U.S. are sold to Canada and Mexico and more than 2 million U.S. manufacturing workers depend on exports to Canada and Mexico.
The U.S. is the largest provider of plumbing products into Canada’s and Mexico’s marketplace. According to the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Building Products and Sustainable Construction Top Markets 2016 Report, the U.S. plumbing product share of Canada’s import market is 41%, and 54% for the Mexican market. Furthermore, Canada’s imports of plumbing products from the U.S. grew at a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% during 2009 through 2014.
Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) supports updating and modernizing the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to help expand manufacturing in the United States.
For U.S. plumbing manufacturers, standards and conformity assessment issues in Mexico (certification, inspection, sampling and testing, and accreditation) serve as the largest non-tariff barriers to trade in the sector.
It is vital to ensure that any renegotiation does not set back U.S. manufacturing. Changes to NAFTA that would raise taxes, tariffs, merchandise processing fees, and other cost barriers will undermine the agreement and the manufacturing sector in the United States.
Message to Congress
PMI supports NAFTA modernization negotiations and provisions to improve and strengthen the agreement by including the following provisions that will:
- Eliminate remaining distortions and barriers in Canada and Mexico;
- Raise standards to U.S. levels, including with respect to science-based regulatory practices, transparency, competition, the protection of private property and investment overseas, and intellectual property;
- Seek greater collaboration to take action against trade cheating from third countries;
- Encourage modern and streamlined customs rules and processes to facilitate trade, such as electronic forms; and,
- Maintain and enhance neutral and strong enforcement mechanisms, including investor-state dispute settlement.
Stephanie Salmon, PMI Federal Government Affairs