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More regulatory complexity won’t increase US competitiveness

In a story on the second round of NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City, set to begin today, Politico Pro reports that while “no major decisions are expected,” businesses are already speaking out about “more contentious” issues such as US “efforts to revamp the highly technical and complicated ‘rules of origin’ for autos and other products,” and possible changes to the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The story quotes NAM regarding both issues. On rules of origin, NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey says, “It already costs many manufacturers millions of dollars to comply with the rules that we already have. The notion that we are going to improve American competitiveness and increase good-paying jobs by increasing complexity, increasing red tape and making it more it expensive to manufacture in the United States is really something of significant concern.” Dempsey adds that there are “much better ways to create more manufacturing jobs than the Trump Administration’s idea of establishing a specific NAFTA requirement that a portion of each product be made in the United States.” On ISDS, Politico Pro writes about the letter sent to USTR Robert Lighthizer, stating that “in unusually blunt language, the heads of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that any attempt to eliminate or weaken the provision ‘will serve to undermine business community support for NAFTA modernization negotiations.’” [Note: Should NAM members want to read the full article for free, they may contact National Association of Manufacturers Account Manager Molly Fluet at mfluet@politico.com.]

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