Dutch firms to be hit if Nafta accord is dropped

Dutch companies are likely to be affected if US president-elect Donald Trump goes through with his threat to break open the North American Free Trade Alliance, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.

The paper has published a survey of Dutch companies, large and small, which are active in the US, Canada and Mexico – the three countries making up the Nafta accord.

Heineken will be the hardest hit, the FD survey revealed. The Amsterdam-based brewer has recently invested some €10bn in Femsa, the Mexican brewing company which it acquired in 2010.

Femsa has a payroll of 20,000 and its Sol brand is a big seller not only in California but also on the US east coast. If Trump succeeds in unleashing anti-Mexican sentiment in the US, Heineken will be a big loser, the FD predicts


In addition, the US is the chemicals and coatings group AkzoNobel’s largest single market. Akzo employs 4,600 people in the US and Canada and a further 500 in Mexico. The company has €1.9bn invested in North America and books annual revenues of about €2.5bn.

The US accounts for an annual €50bn in bilateral trade for the Netherlands, or 6% of the total. By way of contrast, Holland’s largest trading partner is Germany with annual imports and exports put at €160bn.

Dutch investment in the three Nafta countries is impressive. The Mexican government said the Netherlands was the fourth largest investor (€1.6bn) after the US, Spain and Canada. The Netherlands is the second largest foreign investor in Canada. Total Dutch investment in the US was put at $137bn in 2015, putting the Netherlands just inside the top 10.

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