WASHINGTON — NAFTZ President, Erik Autor, testified on NAFTZ objectives in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at a June 28 hearing before officials of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and other government agency representatives on the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC). The Association has long supported NAFTA because the Agreement provides American companies and workers with new opportunities for growth and prosperity, reflect commerce and the economy of the 21st Century, and position the FTZ program to be even more effective in promoting American jobs and competitiveness. In his testimony, Autor informed the panel that current provisions in the NAFTA itself and the 1993 U.S. NAFTA implementing legislation have placed U.S.-based FTZ manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage to manufacturing exporting goods from Mexico and Canada. In support of this position, Autor cited NAFTA Article 303 and the Foreign-Trade Zones Act’s section on duty deferral [sixth proviso of 19 U.S.C. §81c(a)] along with restrictions in NAFTA rules of origin.
Autor added that the FTZ program was specifically designed to help U.S.-based manufacturers overcome tariff-inversion situations in cases where duties an American manufacturer must pay on inputs it imports to make a final product in the United States are higher than the duty imposed on an identical final product imported from a foreign country. The NAFTZ urges clear direction from Congress that inverted tariffs created by the NAFTA should be addressed through the FTZ program for qualifying goods manufactured in the U.S.
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About the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones
The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) is the collective voice of the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Program. The NAFTZ is the program’s principal educator and the leader in demonstrating the program’s value and role in the changing environment of international trade. NAFTZ is instrumental in supporting economic development objectives and the global competitiveness of its public and private members by providing a forum for disseminating relevant information and advocacy support on international trade issues. For more information, visit NAFTZ’s website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.