Though NAFTA renegotiations have stalled, PESA remains committed to promoting a “do no harm” approach. The continued growth of the American oilfield services and equipment sector depends on free bilateral trade, investment protections and solid diplomatic relationships with Canada and Mexico. Such provisions will sustain the collective competitiveness of the North American energy platform, yielding benefits for all member nations.
Since its ratification in 1992, NAFTA has unified North American markets and strengthened the continent’s economy. The agreement has produced net benefits for many American industries, including energy. In 2017, Canada and Mexico were the top two world importers of U.S. petroleum products, accounting for 17% and 13%, respectively. Recent pitfalls in NAFTA renegotiations put trilateral free trade at risk, potentially alienating our closest partners and causing economic harm.
Through the past decade’s revolutionary changes in the U.S. energy landscape, NAFTA has provided sustained benefits to American energy workers and consumers. NAFTA currently supports 10.3 million oil and gas jobs nationwide according to the National Petroleum Institute. The agreement has also fostered healthy competition, making markets more efficient and accessible to consumers.
Outside of quantifiable benefits, NAFTA promotes political stability and energy security. Though American petroleum production capacity is significant on its own, the addition of Mexican and Canadian products will expedite North American self-sufficiency, guaranteeing the continent’s defenses against supply fluctuations. In addition, NAFTA has spillover effects on regional stability. A strong NAFTA promotes a stable Mexico, preventing the proliferation of volatility and unrest throughout Latin and South American markets.
Finally, NAFTA’s fundamental goals of opening markets and reducing transaction costs remain. In its 25 years, the agreement has more than tripled trade between the three North American nations, promoted fair dispute settlement mechanisms, and set precedents for free trade agreements worldwide.
PESA advocates an approach to NAFTA that simultaneously modernizes and maintains important provisions such as cross-border market access, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and protections for intellectual property. These measures will be significant in the oil and gas industry’s sustained capacity for growth, and the future of the North American oil and gas market.