Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would cost the United States 1.8 million jobs within the first year, according to a new economic analysis released Tuesday by the Business Roundtable.
The leading business group of CEOs said leaving NAFTA would also reduce U.S. exports and diminish the purchasing power of the average U.S. household by nearly $654 because of higher prices and lower wages caused by increased tariffs.
“Terminating NAFTA would permanently reduce U.S. employment, exports, and economic output, while benefiting our economic competitors at the expense of American workers and businesses,” said Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of BRT, in a statement.
“We urge the administration to take into account the potential damage of withdrawing from NAFTA, and to focus instead on modernizing the agreement so that it remains a cornerstone of American prosperity,” Bolten said.
The Hill added:
The study also showed that a U.S. break-up with Canada and Mexico would shift economic activity away from North America and toward economic competitors, including China, which would get a boost in growth and employment.
President Trump has said repeatedly that he will pull the United States out of the NAFTA deal if the nation doesn’t reach a deal that provides more benefits.
The study was released as Mexico, Canada and the United States gather in Montreal for the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that Canada agreed to sign a new trade deal with 10 other Pacific Rim nations that remained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, nearly a year after Trump left the Asia-Pacific deal.