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Equipment dealers, manufacturers largely satisfied with NAFTA

Associations survey members to gauge their opinions on trade pacts.

Equipment dealers and manufacturers are largely satisfied with the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a recent survey conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA).

The survey found that 36% of dealers and 59% of manufacturers are largely satisfied with the existing terms of NAFTA, but that some small changes are needed. Dealers and manufacturers had less of a consensus when it came to the Trans Pacific Partnership, which President Trump rejected. Only 15% of equipment dealers and 38% of equipment manufacturers believe that TPP would have led to better trade terms for the equipment industry.

Comments from survey participants provide some insight as to these findings.  Equipment dealers expressed concern that the U.S. was shouldering too much of the cost under NAFTA and that Mexico was benefitting from more favorable terms.  Dealers also felt that the TPP would lead the U.S. providing inequitable subsidies to its trading partners.  Manufacturers, on the other hand, hoped NAFTA would be updated to reflect new technology and were disappointed in President Trump’s abandonment of the TPP.

EDA and AEM analyzed the differences in data collected from their U.S. and Canadian members.  Both dealers and manufacturers in Canada had markedly more positive views of trade than their U.S. counterparts.  For example, 80% of Canadian equipment dealers and over 50% of Canadian manufacturers surveyed were satisfied with the terms of NAFTA 

Source: Equipment Dealers Association

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