BUSINESS

States That Voted For Trump Would Be Biggest Losers In NAFTA Pullout

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is painting an ugly picture of what could happen if the trade deal ends.

11/17/2017 14:05 EST | Updated 11/17/2017 14:05 EST
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., Wed. Nov. 15, 2017. A new projection from the biggest business lobby in the United States shows the 12 states that would likely feel the impact of NAFTA's cancellation the most also voted for Donald Trump.

MEXICO CITY — A new projection from the biggest business lobby in the United States shows the 12 states that would likely feel the impact of NAFTA's cancellation the most also voted for Donald Trump.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has stepped up its efforts to save the North American Free Trade Agreement amid threats of an American pullout.

The group's newest projection shows the states exporting the most to Canada and Mexico in total dollars, or as a percentage of their overall global exports.

Trump won all 12 states — Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and North Carolina — which delivered more than half his electoral college votes.

Watch: Canada won't be pushed into "bad" NAFTA deal, Trudeau says

The current round of talks, underway in Mexico City, is expected to represent a calm between two storms. The countries have now made their demands on key issues, but are likely still months away from revealing their bottom lines.

Officials have played down expectations for this week's talks. The lead NAFTA ministers for the three countries aren't even attending the Mexico round, and Canadian officials suggest there won't likely be movement on the most controversial issues.

Canada and Mexico have suggested one potential area for compromise — the U.S. idea of regular reviews of the agreement — but don't want it to include a so-called termination clause. The Trump administration wants the agreement to lapse after five years unless all three countries agree to extend it.

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That's one of several U.S. demands that shocked observers — Canada, Mexico, numerous American lawmakers, and the business community. Several dozen U.S. lawmakers wrote to the administration this week expressing concern.

And the Chamber of Commerce has begun organizing regular NAFTA events in an effort to save the agreement. It released its projections in an op-ed today headlined, "Which States Would Be Hit Hardest by Withdrawing from NAFTA?"

"Imagine the scene: The U.S. unemployment rate is climbing. Crops in the heartland are rotting. Manufacturers are moving abroad. Consumer prices are rising," the piece begins.

"That's the picture painted."

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