Repeal of NAFTA Would be a 'Mortal Blow' to the San Antonio Area Economy

San Antonio business leaders now have some ammunition in their fight to save the North American Free Trade Agreement, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A just-released update to a study done by Steve Nivin, assistant professor of economics at St. Mary's University, found that the total number of direct jobs created in the San Antonio economy as a result of NAFTA amounted to just over 63-thousand.  Those direct jobs paid incomes of about $3.8 billion. 

 "According to SABER’s latest “Economic Impacts of NAFTA on the San Antonio Economy: 1994-2016”, the agreement created the most jobs in the professional services, education and health sectors within the San Antonio economy with 12,420 jobs created in each sector. 

The trade, transportation, and utilities sector also experienced a relatively large gain in jobs at 9,108," it reads.

The report goes on to show that, if the trade agreement were to be repealed, it would cost the metro economy more than $5 billion.

Mayor Ivy Taylor says NAFTA helps San Antonio companies make competitively-priced goods, which has led to growth to in the local economy."

For example, Mexico has played a key role in global supply chains for San Antonio companies like HEB, Valero and Toyota.  It also provides San Antonio companies access to markets and opportunities for their goods and services, such as the unique opportunities for San Antonio companies in the energy sector.

She told the Free Trade Alliance this week that, while foreign companies have set up companies here to serve the Latin American market, there is now uncertainty, thanks to the tone from the Trump White House. 

"There are now companies from Mexico reluctant to commit to expansion."

In addition to foreign direct investment, exports remain a key focus of our city.

"In 2014, data from the Brookings Institute show companies in the San Antonio metro area exported a total of $9 billion.Jose Martinez, head of the Free Trade Alliance, says the updated numbers prove that NAFTA is not a job killer, like some claim.

"We're using this to make our argument: Be careful with NAFTA. This is a treaty that has worked."


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