May 17, 2017
United States Trade Representative
Office of United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer,
On behalf of the following organizations representing millions of Americans, we write to congratulate you on your confirmation as the 18th United States Trade Representative (USTR). The office you lead is full of dedicated staff, working tirelessly to open markets and expand international commerce.
We also write, however, to express our concern about the rhetoric surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In recent weeks, President Trump has threatened to withdraw the United States from NAFTA if renegotiation efforts prove unsuccessful. This would be a catastrophic mistake. Since ratification, NAFTA has been an enormously beneficial, impactful arrangement for American businesses and consumers. This said, we acknowledge that NAFTA may need to be modernized to reflect the realities of 21st century industry.
Should USTR pursue a thoughtful renegotiation of NAFTA by strengthening the agreement to lower costs for businesses and consumers, while expanding market access, we stand ready to aid in these efforts. Conversely, we will be unable to support efforts to withdraw from, or materially weaken, NAFTA.
Since World War II, a strong bipartisan commitment to trade policy liberalization has been immensely beneficial to our country and its citizens. We strongly urge you to continue the path toward policy liberalization and open international markets.
R Street Institute
National Taxpayers Union
ALEC Action, 501 (c)(4) Affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council
Club for Growth
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity