Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12.14.2017

Governor Discusses North American Trade in White House Meeting With Vice President,

Other Administration Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States considers the future of NAFTA, the nation must be careful that it does not harm global trade, Governor Asa Hutchinson told Vice President Mike Pence, Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross.

“I appreciate Vice President Pence for allowing governors to share our thoughts and concerns as our nation considers the future of NAFTA. The administration was clear that it wants to be able to negotiate a better NAFTA deal for American manufacturers and workers,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The administration recognizes the importance of North American trade and prefers to modernize NAFTA under more fair terms that acknowledge the economic changes in the past 20 years.

“I respect that negotiating position, but my message is that Arkansas must be able to continue its access to North American markets unimpeded by trade barriers. Otherwise, there will be serious harm to Arkansas agriculture, and retail and manufacturing sectors.

“Continued cross-border trade with our North American partners is very important to our farmers and businesses. But as we consider trade agreements, and work toward fairness and modernization, we must remember the basic principle that we do no harm to our global trading relationships. It is clear that there is great potential for harm in Arkansas, especially to our farmers, if the United States reverses course regarding cross-border trade.”
Canada is Arkansas’ number one customer and Mexico is our second largest customer. 

In addition to Governor Hutchinson, the governors who attended the meeting with Vice President Pence were Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Rick Snyder of Michigan and Bill Haslam of Tennessee.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)