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NAM’s Chuck Wetherington Testifies on the State of Trade for U.S. Small Businesses

Wetherington Calls for Enforceable Trade Agreements, Restoring Ex-Im Bank at House Small Business Committee Hearing

Chuck Wetherington Testifies on the State of Trade for U.S. Small Businesses
Photo Credit: Dave Bohrer, National Association of Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – BTE Technologies President, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Executive Committee member and Small and Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Group Vice Chair Chuck Wetherington testified on behalf of the NAM at today’s House Small Business Committee hearing on the state of trade for the United States. Wetherington’s testimony called for negotiating and implementing market-opening, high-standard and enforceable trade agreements, restoring the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to full functionality and improving U.S. market and export promotion assistance.

Any outcomes from the ongoing NAFTA modernization negotiations must sustain and grow higher-paying American jobs and fuel U.S. manufacturing production, exports and competitiveness, Wetherington said in his written testimony. To be successful, a renegotiated NAFTA must also be fully consistent with the substantive Trade Promotion Authority trade-negotiating objectives contained in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. At the same time, it is vital to ensure that any renegotiation does not set back U.S. manufacturing or manufacturing jobs. Changes to NAFTA that would increase red tape and complexity, substitute government decision-making for the free market or raise taxes, tariffs, merchandise processing fees and other cost barriers—including with respect to rules of origin or concerning restricted access to foreign procurement markets—will undermine, rather than incentivize, manufacturing in the United States and North America more broadly.

Click here to read Wetherington’s full written testimony.

Wetherington’s testimony at the Small Business Committee comes the same day as NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray testifies at a Joint Economic Committee hearing on unleashing America’s economic potential and NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey testifies at a Senate Finance Trade subcommittee hearing on market access challenges in China.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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