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Freight Rail Policy Stance: U.S. policymakers should narrowly target assistance for U.S. workers affected by trade agreements rather than unraveling policies that would lessen U.S. competitiveness, productivity and participation in international trade.
Why This Matters: The supply chain is integrated, which largely requires a free flow of goods. Undo any part of it — including rail — and policymakers risk undoing today's economic framework and greatly affecting American life as it is experienced today.
By linking businesses to each other here and abroad, freight railroads have played a crucial role in America's economic development for more than 185 years. American life is driven by employment and consumption, which is made possible by domestic and international trade. This trade, which happens across Northern America, depends on manufacturing and creating goods and services, transporting them to market and then selling them via various retail means — in person or through e-commerce.
International trade, facilitated largely through free trade agreements such as NAFTA, has benefited the U.S. economy. By allowing U.S. companies — such as freight rail customers — access to global markets, businesses and customers American’s gain access to a greater variety of goods at a lower cost. Federal policymakers should be looking at ways to open more markets for trade, not considering policies to unnecessarily stop sustained growth.
AAR Trade Report
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In 2015, U.S. companies exported over $30 billion in auto parts to Canada and more than $29 billion in U.S. parts to Mexico