Union Pacific CEO says the opportunity is ripe to modernize NAFTA

We'd love to see coal generate electricity: Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz

With NAFTA renegotiations approaching, Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz has chimed in with his desire to modernize the trade agreement.

"In our perspective, we think there is a ripe opportunity to modernize NAFTA," Fritz told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday. "Especially with things like e-commerce and intellectual property, and a couple other items."

And even though President Donald Trump has taken an anti-NAFTA stance on several positions, Fritz feels confident in the administration's ability to negotiate NAFTA.

"I think Canada, the United States and Mexico all realize [the need to modernize], and what we hear from the current administration is actually pretty logical in terms of how they are going to address those negotiations," Fritz said.

The CEO also commented on Amtrak's challenges as a federally funded passenger railroad company.

Union Pacific is a privately owned company, but Amtrak, which is federally funded, has struggled for years to secure adequate funding and expand its transportation system. The company recently announced plans to take three aging New York tracks out of service for July and August to repair them after a series of infrastructure-related service disruptions and two train derailments.

Despite Amtrak's recent challenges, Fritz has confidence in Amtrak — but only if the government can step up.

"Amtrak doesn't have a steady reliable funding source. Their ticket revenue doesn't cover it, the subsidy from the government is always in question and in jeopardy, so they have a pretty heavy lift in terms of solidifying a cash stream," Fritz said.

"I have all the confidence in [Amtrak CEO] Wick [Moorman], I know him well, and he's identified the challenges in terms of capital investment," he said. "So now it's a matter that if the country values Amtrak, it has to step up and support it."

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