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San Diego Chamber Of Commerce Joins 300 State, Local Businesses In Support Of NAFTA

Jerry Sanders, former Mayor of San Diego, sits in the boardroom of the San Di...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: Jerry Sanders, former Mayor of San Diego, sits in the boardroom of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he is now president. Oct. 19, 2016

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that it signed on to a letter from more than 300 state and local business associations expressing support for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement.

The letter sent to President Donald Trump from 314 state and local chambers of commerce reiterates the business community's strong support for NAFTA and the millions of American jobs they contend it supports. Members of Congress have received copies of the letter.

"San Diego has a thriving economy due in large part to effective trade agreements like NAFTA," said Jerry Sanders, San Diego chamber president and CEO. "We support the president's efforts to negotiate much-needed updates to NAFTA, and we urge the administration to avoid tactics that would damage a partnership that has created so much opportunity for our region."

RELATED: Chamber Of Commerce Brings Binational Delegation To Lobby D.C. Leaders

NAFTA went into effect in 1994, reducing trade barriers with Canada and Mexico, such as eliminating most tariffs and duties. While business groups contend the deal has improved commerce in North America, critics — including Trump — say inequities have cost American jobs.

In August, mayors from border cities in San Diego County and Mexico urged federal leaders to support the modernization of NAFTA and continue an effort to improve the region's economic prosperity.

RELATED: San Diego And Tijuana Leaders Seek Modernization Amid NAFTA Talks

The mayors called for clear rules of trade that ensure all small- and medium-sized businesses have the opportunity to participate, and having tariffs and fees generated at all borders dedicated to border infrastructure, modernization and staffing.

They also asked for negotiators to move swiftly to minimize economic impacts and recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to border security.

A similar resolution was signed by mayors of border cities in the U.S. and Mexico in July.


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