In an open letter signed by 314 state and local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged President Donald Trump to update and improve, but not end, the 23-year-old trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada that, they say, has contributed to US$ 1.2 trillion annually in trade.
The document was revealed just as negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico prepare to kick off a fourth round of talks on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Also this Tuesday, U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue traveled to Mexico to “ring the alarm bells” about the administration’s “unnecessary and unacceptable” proposals.
Before a group of business leaders in Mexico City, Donohue said that he was “cautiously optimistic" when negotiations began, but now sees White House demands as "poison pills" that could scuttle the deal.
"We’ve reached a critical moment," Donohue said, "and the Chamber has had no choice but to ring the alarm bells."