Texas Allliance Advocates NAFTA An Energy Economic Success Story

As the process for reworking the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers’ board of directors has cemented the association’s position on NAFTA after President Donald Trump remarked at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that he may terminate the agreement and begin negotiations anew.

“NAFTA was born on Jan. 1, 1989, and has become a part of our daily oil business lives,” said Texas Alliance of Energy Producers’ chairman Bob Osborne. “NAFTA is important to Texas, and if renegotiated, its impact on our markets for oil and gas needs to remain positive and profitable.” “The heavier grades of crude oil imported to the U.S. from Canada are a necessary part of the U.S. oil supply mix,” added Alliance president John Tintera. “Many U.S. refineries were built to handle those grades and require heavy crude to make several vital consumer products.”

In anticipation of possible changes to the trade agreement, Alliance staff and consultants analyzed NAFTA’s influence on Texas independent oil and gas production, with the group’s petroleum economist, Karr Ingham, citing several key figures in his report: natural gas exports to Mexico have increased more than five-fold, or by 445%, since 2010, including an estimated 30% in 2017 alone; the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas in North America by year-end 2017 due in large part to rapidly expanding natural gas exports to Mexico.

Further, exports of crude oil to Mexico have increased by 320% since 2010; exports from Texas account for 16% of all U.S. exports; and shipments to Mexico and Canada account for nearly 50% of Texas exports.

Therefore, the board of directors has passed a resolution reaffirming the Alliance’s commitment to maintaining a profitable and thriving trade climate for the oil and gas industry. The group said it would continue working with government officials to ensure that, if renegotiated, NAFTA will retain a low/zero tariff trade structure in a way that continues to foster the expansion of unfettered energy trade and investment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; be enacted with no sunset provisions; and retain its current form if an agreement cannot be reached as a result of ongoing negotiations.

“The North American Free Trade Agreement is an energy economics success story by virtually every measure,” said Ingham. “It has contributed to growth and jobs in the Texas and U.S. oil and gas industry; it is providing new markets for domestic energy production; and is lowering the costs to consumers in all three countries.

Taken as a whole, North America is on the verge of achieving energy self-sufficiency—a long-standing goal that has enjoyed significant advancement under NAFTA.”

((SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, February 12, 2018. Go to https://tinyurl.com/yc4rrwop for subscription information.)