Automotive aftermarket groups representing the U.S., Canada and Mexico have issued a joint statement to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer "strongly" supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The statement is signed by the leaders of the Auto Care Association, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), and Asociación Nacional De Representantes, Importadores y Distribuidores de Refacciones y Accesorios Para Automóviles, A.C. (ARIDRA) representing Mexico.

The three groups met during the Auto Care Association's spring meeting in San Antonio, Texas, and identified areas of collaboration.

According to the joint letter, "The undersigned aftermarket trade groups from the three NAFTA signatory countries strongly support NAFTA. The regional agreement benefits the membership of our three groups, as well as the economy of all three countries. However, while NAFTA may have been 'state of the art' when negotiated and implemented in the early 1990s, it is now nearly 25 years old and could benefit from a modernization effort."

That modernization needs to incorporate e-commerce, the groups say.

"With respect to modernizing the agreement, the three trade groups support including ecommerce provisions and efforts to streamline/modernize customs procedures. A sizable number of citizens of all three countries do at least some shopping online, and one of NAFTA’s largest shortcomings is its lack of ecommerce provisions that protect and promote cross-border transactions."

Read the full letter here.

For more information about the three groups, visit Auto Care Association: www.autocare.org; AIA: www.aiacanada.com; ARIDRA www.aridra.com.

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