President Trump to renegotiate NAFTA

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

President Donald Trump's newly appointed US trade representative has formally notified Congress of the administration's intent to begin renegotiations of NAFTA, the 23-year-old trilateral trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico. It's a major thoroughfare for trade between Mexico and the U.S. "I mean it's like Trump. long on rhetoric and short on detail", said Jerry Pacheco.

"For far too long, our nation has stuck to a free trade agenda that has led to a massive $500 billion annual trade deficit, lost jobs, and lowered wages in rural communities across the USA", said Roger Johnson, NFU president.

"For those of us who believe that USA trade policy and Nafta need fundamental reform, this notice is very disappointing", said Rep. Richard Neal of MA and Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, two Democrats on Mr. Brady's committee, explaining they don't think potential policy changes will go far enough.

Also asked whether the sugar conflict with Mexico and the softwood lumber conflict with Canada will be in the negotiations, he said he hopes those talks, which the Commerce Department is handling, will be completed before the NAFTA negotiations.

The relationship is even more important to the North Country economy, Douglas said. Last month, White House aides spread word that President Trump was ready to pull out of the agreement.

The trade agreement has been a lightning rod for criticism since it was being negotiated in the early 1990s.

NPPC said US pork exports to Canada and Mexico past year were almost $799 million and nearly $1.4 billion.

Campaigning previous year, Trump vowed to renegotiate NAFTA and pull out of it he couldn't get a better deal.

"With specifics to NAFTA, there is a strong interdependence of the fruit and vegetable sector across all three countries". In fact, US manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico have increased almost 260 percent over the past 23 years, and USA farm exports to the countries have grown by more than 150 percent.

Freeland said modernizing global trade agreements is good practice, and Canada will take a "very thoughtful and very strategic approach" in NAFTA talks. President Trump is going to change that.

The Software Alliance (BSA) welcomed the notification to Congress. "BSA commends the administration for its ambition to use the updating of NAFTA as an opportunity to address digital trade issues, such as cross-border data flows, which are crucial to job creation in the modern data economy".

That said, some might be surprised the letter emerged just eight days after Lighthizer was confirmed.

Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, called it "markedly vague". Today, his administration officially notified Congress that it intends to renegotiate the deal.

During the required 90-day period, USTR will consult with "Congress and American stakeholders to create an agreement that advances the interests of America's workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses", he said. Mexico and Canada signaled that they welcome the opportunity to modernize the agreement.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the duration of the consultation period.

It adds "effective implementation and aggressive enforcement" as priorities. "A renegotiation would only benefit IP owners, as the standards would not be lowered".

USA wheat industry officials say renegotiating NAFTA could bring benefits, but they urge caution.

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