SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The new Chair of the Border Trade Alliance will testify a U.S. Senate panel hearing on Monday.

Paolo Avila, who is also vice president of international business affairs at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, will speak at a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance’s International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee, chaired by Texas Sen. John Cornyn.

Avila said her testimony will focus on the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the U.S. economy and the negative consequences that she believes would result were the renegotiations underway with Canada and Mexico to collapse.

“With White House threats to dismantle NAFTA continuing, it is incumbent upon trade advocates who recognize the damage that an exit from the agreement would inflict on the U.S. economy to speak out and make a forceful case for NAFTA’s preservation and modernization,” Avila said.

“I look forward to this opportunity to remind senators that our three nations’ supply chains are deeply integrated, which has created a highly efficient, just-in-time manufacturing environment that has resulted in an enhanced quality of life throughout the region and that is responsible 14 million jobs in the U.S. alone. Dismantling the agreement would make the administration’s stated goal of achieving 3 percent annual economic growth a near impossibility.”

The hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance’s International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee will focus on the modernization and renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It takes place in the Cavalier Room of the San Antonio Marriott Plaza Hotel, starting at 9 a.m.

The BTA is a grassroots, non-profit organization formed in 1986. It provides a forum for discussion and advocacy on issues pertaining to the environment, border development, quality of life and trade in the Americas. A network of public and private sector representatives from the United States, Mexico and Canada, BTA’s core values include a commitment to improving the quality of life of border communities through trade and commerce.

Recently, Avila told the Rio Grande Guardian that abandoning NAFTA would inflict tremendous damage. Click here to read the story.