Business leaders in the United States, Canada and Mexico are still positive about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its impact on their firms, according to a newly released report from HSBC Navigator: Now, next and how for business'.
The report says more than 60 per cent of business leaders surveyed across North America believe governments are increasingly taking a protectionist stance of raising trade barriers to defend domestic businesses. However, amid ongoing renegotiations of NAFTA, half of firms surveyed expect NAFTA’s impact to be positive over the next two years (U.S. 49 per cent; Canada 52 per cent; Mexico 53 per cent).
A much lower percentage of business leaders held a negative outlook for NAFTA (U.S. 9 per cent; Mexico 16 per cent; Canada 13 per cent).
"NAFTA has significantly benefitted Canada, Mexico and the United States," said Linda Seymour, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank Canada. "It has facilitated increased trade, improved customer choice, allowed for the provision of more services and has fostered growth and greater co-operation among government policy makers and businesses in all three countries."
"In spite of the threat of new trade barriers, we expect growth in cross-border business to continue, especially among our North American neighbours. We're seeing a lot of optimism from U.S. clients right now stemming from factors like deregulation, lower taxes, a somewhat weaker U.S. dollar, climbing energy prices and a rise in global economic development," said WyattCrowell, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC USA.