I think that the past year has offered a kind of tutorial for policy-makers in the Congress over the benefits of the NAFTA today and the trade relationship we have with Canada and Mexico.
Last week, I went on a four-day tour of seven Midwestern states. One thing they all have in common is that they voted heavily for Donald Trump. Another thing they have in common is that they're all incredibly dependent on trade, and particularly trade with Canada and Mexico. As I travelled in this area, I visited manufacturers—I visited a large trucking firm, a technology company, a manufacturer of balloons—and I spoke at a number of state and local chambers of commerce. I did not find any reservoir of goodwill for the idea of abandoning the NAFTA.
In fact, at the first event I went to, Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said he was not aware of a single constituency in North Dakota that is in favour of withdrawing from the NAFTA. North Dakota is about the reddest state in the union, as we say. It's one of the states that voted for President Trump by the largest margin.
I finished my tour down in Kansas, and Senator Pat Roberts was at the event there. He's chairman of the agriculture committee. It's agriculture that sees this perhaps most vividly; it's not just manufacturers. Canada and Mexico buy more U.S. manufactured goods than the next 10 largest markets among our export partners.
In the Congress, I can see that that message has gotten through. I see it getting through with governors. I would have to say that I think Canadian diplomacy has played a positive role here as well. There has been a great deal of outreach, not just from the government, but from our good friends at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, who have hit the road, as you all have, travelling to a lot of places.
NAFTA has been much maligned over the years, but I think there's a somewhat different perspective on it today. Opinion polling backs that up. The view of NAFTA is more favourable than it has been.