UPS CEO says Trump’s NAFTA plan is ‘encouraging’ for American business

As the Trump administration moves to re-examine the international agreements that have underpinned trade in the US over the past few decades, UPS, one of the nation’s largest employers, has weighed in on NAFTA and Openskies.

On Tuesday, at its investor’s conference, UPS CEO David Abney told reporters that his company is “encouraged” by the Trump White House’s decision to look into the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“The agreement is a little bit old. It’s not reflective of 21st century agreements. That’s what we thought TPP would do,” Abney said. “So we’re encouraged by the fact that the President and his administration talks about modernising the agreement.”

However, Abney went on to emphasise the importance of trade across our southern border and international trade in general to job creation

In fact, according to Abney, every 22 packages that cross in and out of US borders creates a job at UPS.

In addition to NAFTA, Abney also discussed his views on the contentious battle between America’s three largest legacy carriers — United, American, and Delta — and their rivals from the Middle East — Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar Airways.

The three major US carriers believe the ME3 have received more than $US50 billion in government subsidies over the past decade. As a result, the US3 would like for the Trump administration to reexamine the terms of the Openskies agreement, which governs air travel between the US and the Middle Eastern national.

Even though fellow freight carriers FedEX and Atlas have come out against the US3, UPS has not taken a side on the matter. And that has not changed.

“We are monitoring the situation,” Abney told Business Insider.

While UPS is for free trade and open borders, it also believes in fair trade, Abney told us. That’s why the company has been very careful to come out publicly for policies that may create barriers to trade.

NAFTA, which has been around since 1994, has eliminated most of the tariffs for products traded among Mexico, Canada, and the US. The Trump administration believes the agreement, in its current state, puts US exporters at a disadvantage. As a result, the White House has pushed to renegotiate the terms of the agreement. On January, 30, the Trump administration officially withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

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