Philadelphia's Pan American Association Considers Trump's Tough Talk On NAFTA

Steve Tawa
April 11, 2018 - 6:24 pm

Photo Credit: Steve Tawa

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- At the Union League, area leaders attending a Pan American Association of Philadelphia event discussed the "business perspective" of NAFTA.

President Donald Trump favors revising or terminating the trade pact with Mexico and Canada, saying the large trade deficits with both countries make it a bad deal for the U.S.

Romy Diaz, the president of the Pan American Association of Philadelphia is "struck by the fierce rhetoric on the value or not, of the North American Free Trade Agreement."

"What does it mean for opportunities for import, export and business development right here in the Philadelphia region," he said.

One of the panelists was Michael Araten, the CEO of K'NEX, the Hatfield Township toy manufacturer, which exports TinkerToys and LincolnLogs to 35-countries.

"For me, it's something that I call 'patriotic capitalism,' " he said.

After the financial crisis in 2009, K'NEX reshored its overseas operations - back to its factory in Hatfield - from subcontractors in China.:

"How fast can we bring them back; the only way to do that was to make stuff here," he said.

It now makes 95 percent of component parts and 100 percent of its finished goods in the U.S.