Dear NAFTZ Members and Advocates,
On December 1, Senator John Cornyn of Texas released a bipartisan joint letter to U. S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer opposing USTR’s attempt to re-impose the harmful NAFTA rules-of-origin (ROO) restriction that prevented FTZ-manufactured products from receiving preferential-duty treatment under NAFTA, even if they met the NAFTA ROO requirements.
This provision was left out of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) implementing legislation that President Trump signing into law in January – representing a big victory for the entire FTZ community and for NAFTZ, which had lobbied extensively against it. But now, Amb. Lighthizer and his USTR staff have once again shown their anti-FTZ bias by attempting to include the FTZ ROO restriction in a USMCA “technical corrections” bill that they are pushing to include in urgent, last-minute legislation during the current “lame duck” session of Congress.
Five other senators joined Sen. Cornyn in signing the letter: Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. We are very appreciative of these senators’ support. But now we need to demonstrate to USTR and to the congressional leadership that support for our position is even stronger throughout the nation.
Contact Your Own Senators Today!
On behalf of the NAFTZ Board of Directors, we are asking every FTZ Grantee, Operator and User to send a message to their own two U.S. Senators (other than those above), asking them to join Sen. Cornyn and his colleagues as co-signers on this important letter.
The attached letter, How to Contact Your U.S. Senators about Co-Signing Senator Cornyn’s Letter to USTR, provides all the information you need to take action on this request, plus a draft message you can use in contacting your senators.
NOTE: If you are not authorized to contact your elected officials on behalf of your company or organization, please forward this message to your government relations manager or other appropriate office for priority consideration.
Please do not let this challenge pass by. Demonstrating additional support for Senator Cornyn’s position and letter can convince the Senate and House leadership to drop the FTZ provision from the technical corrections bill. It is important to note that NAFTZ does not oppose the entire technical correction proposal, which includes important provisions related to the Merchandise Processing Fee and the North America Development Bank. Congress can pass the bill without the FTZ restriction.
On behalf of the NAFTZ Board of Directors, thank you for supporting FTZs in this very important effort.