Top executives from prominent U.S. companies say they're open to tweaking the North American Free Trade Agreement, but they recently called on the Trump administration to keep the pact's basic framework in place.
Trump harshly criticized the 23-year-old trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico during his bid for the White House and denounced the trade practices of both neighboring nations in subsequent months.
He flirted with abandoning the agreement entirely last month before reconsidering, and the administration earlier this month notified Congress of its plans to renegotiate its terms.
A letter sent by 32 business leaders to the White House last week, according to The Wall Street Journal, ostensibly voiced support for that effort.
But the document, in fact, warned against major changes and detailed NAFTA's benefits to companies in the agriculture, transportation, apparel, insurance and other industries.
The letter reportedly said that NAFTA supported 14 million jobs in the U.S. and $3.5 billion in trading volume each day. Executives asked the White House to make any changes quickly and in collaboration with the governments of Mexico and Canada.
“Uncertainty about the future of America’s terms of trade with Canada and Mexico would suppress economic growth and may cause political reactions that undermine U.S. exporters," executives wrote in the letter.