Las Vegas chamber representatives were in DC last week advocating for a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. The delegation members expressed their concerns about the trade war with China. They also discussed important transportation topics which will directly benefit Nevada.
Mexico and Canada are the state’s two largest trading partners, Nevada alone sent a total of $1.7 billion worth of exports to those countries.
According to Paul Moradkhan, the chamber’s senior vice president for government affairs said
“trade and exports in Nevada support 39,000 jobs. Without the trade agreement, you could potentially lose those jobs and take a hit on the [state] economy. So we believe open trade agreements are beneficial for the business community.”
The delegation is hoping that Congress approves the deal by this fall.
Concerns about the new trade deal
Democrats are pushing to sign the deal but also raise concerns regarding environmental protections, which are criticised for being too lenient by many environmental groups. “We’re trying to get to ‘yes’ on an agreement, but there are several points of contention,” said Rep. Susie Lee, citing the issues raised by Democrats. “We’ve been very clear that we needed to see a change of what the original proposal was,” she said. “That’s all being negotiated now. I think there’s a hope to get it done by the end of the year, if not sooner.”
The trade war between the US and China has also been discussed in many group meetings. Representative Dina Titus expressed concern about the tariff on aluminium consequently increasing the production cost. She also talked about candy manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, private aircraft producers and more who source parts and materials from China.“This trade war is not good for anybody,” Titus said
Other important topics on the agenda
Other important topics discussed during the meetings included transportation. They discussed widening the I-15. “If you have ever been on I-15 on a weekend or a holiday, it’s just a traffic jam,” said Mary Beth Sewald, Las Vegas chamber president and chief executive officer. “Almost 20% of Las Vegas’ tourism comes from Southern California.” Moreover, they discussed the-185 mile rail which would run along I-15. “I represent the heart of Las Vegas and I often say we don’t make anything there except perhaps dreams come true, so we have to bring everything in,” Titus said at the chamber event. “Everything has to come from somewhere else, so transportation is so important to our district. Having I-11 connect Las Vegas and Phoenix, the only two cities in the country that are left not connected by an interstate, would be important.”