U.S. Aluminum Industry Seeks Reforms for NAFTA

A pile of aluminum materials

Recently, the members of the metals industry have voiced out their opinions on wanting the U.S. to initiate a modernization plan for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

The Aluminum Association, for instance, believes that there is room for improvement on the 23-year-old trade deal among the countries, while not affecting the original agreement’s benefits. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) also supported the recommended reforms.

Beneficial Proposal

The Aluminum Association highlighted three measures that could modernize NAFTA. This included enhancing customs procedures for aluminum and aluminum products, and precisecast.com noted that it could include prototype aluminum casting.

The other two comprised of a cooperation with Canadian and Mexican governments over NAFTA preferences for aluminum products that legitimately come from the three countries, as well as the establishment of common practices on State-Owned Enterprises’ operations.

The association submitted these recommendations as the U.S. NAFTA trade value increased in April, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

Higher Trading

The U.S. recorded $91.1 billion of NAFTA trade value with Canada and Mexico, an increase of 0.8% annual for the sixth month in a row, the BTS noted. Freight trucks accounted for 62.6% of U.S.-NAFTA freight in April, which represented the sector’s continual dominance in shipping goods to and from both U.S.-NAFTA partners. In terms of exports, trucking activity accounted for $41.6 billion of exports (up by 66.3%), while their share of hauled imports amounted to $29.4 billion of the $49.5 billion (up by 59.5%).

Freight rail hauled 16.4% of all U.S.-NAFTA freight. Vessel shipments accounted for 6.3%, while pipeline and air cargo represented 5.9% and 3.6%, respectively. BTS said that trucks, railways, and pipelines moved 84.9% of the total value of U.S.-NAFTA trade volume.

Proposed reforms on NAFTA will affect several industries in North America, which is why the three countries’ governments and private sector should cooperate to ensure a seamless implementation of the changes.