Response to American Position on NAFTA

Aug 1, 2018

Dear Minister Freeland,
Re: Response to American Position on NAFTA

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce is an organization with approximately 900 members representing more than 30,000 employees. With a thriving manufacturing and agri-food sector, Guelph has 295 companies who export $4.3 billion in goods to North America.

Over the past month we have held roundtable discussions on the topic of NAFTA and the recently imposed solar, steel and aluminum tariffs. We can assure you that our member businesses support the united position of the federal and provincial governments, national associations and municipalities in the on-going trade negotiations with President Trump and the United States.

Our local companies are already feeling significant impacts from the steel and aluminum tariffs. These impacts include sales orders being placed on hold, inefficiencies being created in the supply chain to fear of going out of business. They have expressed concern that the tariffs will level significant damage to the world's closest trading relationship, hurting U.S. and Canadian workers, raising prices for consumers and damaging North American competitiveness.

The potential of 25 percent tariffs on Canadian assembled vehicles entering the United States would be devastating across the Ontario automotive sector. The progress of our Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster Strategy, which is built around the application of locally developed technology into Ontario manufacturing, could be severely restricted by the lack of access to U.S. markets through escalated tariffs and associated instruments.

As President & CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of our members, I encourage you and all levels of government across Canada to maintain a united strategy and advance a trade agenda in our collective interests.

Kithio Mwanzia
President & CEO Guelph Chamber of Commerce