By and  on February 20, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s reiteration of a commitment to seek changes in the 15-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement left importers and domestic textile producers concerned about the potential impact it could have on $14.4 billion worth of three-country apparel and textile trade.

“With a NAFTA agreement that has labor provisions and environmental provisions as side agreements, it strikes me if those side agreements mean anything, then they might as well be incorporated into the main body of the agreement so that they can be effectively enforced,” Obama, making his first foreign visit to Ottawa on Thursday, said at a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “So, I raised this issue with Prime Minister Harper. It is my hope that as our advisers and staffs and economic teams work this through, that there is a way of doing this that is not disruptive to the extraordinarily important trade relationship that exists between the U.S. and Canada.”

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