January 30, 2018

Corker Statement at Hearing on North American Economic Relations

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement at a hearing on the regional and strategic significance of the economic relationship between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The committee heard testimony from former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, former Mexican Secretary of Commerce and Industry Jaime Serra Puche, and former U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne.

“Today, we will discuss the regional and strategic significance of U.S. economic relationships with our friends to the north and south, Canada and Mexico.

“I am glad to have such esteemed witnesses before us today to talk about this important issue.

“Their presence speaks to the high value that Mexico and Canada place on their relations with our country and highlights the collective understanding that the people of our three countries prosper because of the close economic ties we have developed over the last several decades.

“Since the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force, our merchandise trade with Mexico and Canada has tripled. Canada is now our largest market for exports of U.S. goods. Mexico is second. And Mexico and Canada now account for 34 percent of total U.S. exports.

“The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in both Canada and Mexico. In fact, the U.S. represents nearly half of all the foreign investment in Canada today. Likewise, for both Mexico and Canada, the U.S. is the largest destination for foreign investment.

“We have deficits with Mexico and Canada in trade in goods. But we enjoy a surplus with both countries when it comes to services.

“We can and should periodically review our trade balance with Mexico and Canada to see if improvements can be made without losing sight of the importance of mutual trade for our citizens and businesses.

“At 5,500 miles, the United States’ border with Canada is the longest and most peaceful international boundary in the world, a truly remarkable fact that we often take for granted.

“Canadian troops have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. troops in numerous conflicts. We cooperate closely not only on the national level, but our respective states and provinces often have closer connections than most sovereign countries. Canada is truly among America’s closest friends and allies.

“With Mexico, we are making the North American region the envy of the world in energy development.

“Canada and the United States deliberately reached out together to include Mexico in our bilateral economic partnership. We understood then that Mexico had its own challenges to address. And working together, we are able to tackle very difficult issues together from migration, to trafficking in persons and drugs, to shared water resources, to security because of the close ties that we have built together.

“That collaboration developed in large part because of our pursuit of shared economic prosperity. Our businesses, cooperating across borders, have helped raise common concerns and cultivate common approaches to solving problems.

“The North American regional partnership is our most important relationship in the world, and we are here today to reflect on how much these relations affect our three countries.”

Click here for complete testimony and video footage of the hearing.