Greetings for a Prosperous 2018!
Much of last year’s biggest news is spilling over into this new year. There is general elation over the largest tax reform in twenty years has prompted many businesses to announce bonuses and boosted the soaring stock market even higher.
However, concerns remain around the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Recently announced 30% tariffs, with reportedly other trade actions to follow, seem likely to trigger reaction from countries targeted, particularly China, and fears are mounting of a “trade war” between the world’s two largest economies. Nonetheless, Arizona companies still have many opportunities to begin or expand exports, and the reality that almost 90% of demand for U.S. products outside our borders remains.
As 2018 matures, Arizona DEC will continue to push for an appropriate update and quick ratification of NAFTA, as well as the Korean Free Trade Agreement. On February 21, together with Arizona State University, the DEC will launch a national discussion of Trade 2.0, a new and more inclusive global trade paradigm for the U.S. Its purpose is to attempt to dispel misconceptions about international trade while also addressing genuine displacements and the need for retraining to maintain a competitive American workforce.
It should be a good year!
Melissa Sanderson, Chair, AZ District Export Council
(Mel is Vice President of International Affairs, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.)