Trump pulls trigger on NAFTA negotiations

19 Mai, 2017, 23:20 | Author: Marc Bacque

President Trump gave formal notice Thursday he will renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade deal between the US, Canada and Mexico.

These goals will be pursued consistent with USA priorities and the negotiating objectives established by Congress in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, the letter stated.

U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross called the letter a notice to the world that "free and fair trade is the new standard for USA trade deals" in a statement.

Mexico also said it expects a "constructive" negotiation.

During the campaign, Trump vowed to withdraw from NAFTA, saying it was a disaster for USA workers.

Wheat farmers also want to protect the gains they've made under the trade deal.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders regarding this renegotiation, Lighthizer indicated that he would also "consult closely with Congress" in developing US negotiating positions.

The 90-day period would end August 16, 2017.

"USTR will now continue consultations with Congress and American stakeholders to create an agreement that advances the interests of America's workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses", he wrote.

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In the letter to Congress, Lighthizer expresses the Trump administrations commitment to concluding the negotiations with substantive results for United States businesses and workers.

"Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards", he said.

Trump had threatened to withdraw from the agreement, only to relent in late April when the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other parties to the deal, asked him to renegotiate, instead. He promised a very aggressive negotiating schedule to conclude the talks as quickly as possible. "If we all do our jobs well, the result will be a stronger agreement that spurs economic growth and job creation, not just in the United States, but across North America", he said.

"NAFTA has been vital to the growth of the USA insurance industry, but as with any agreement that's almost a quarter of a century old, NAFTA can be improved. That's unacceptable. If we don't make things in America, we won't have a middle class in America". But Schwab, now at the University of Maryland, said, "The key is, how is it renegotiated?"

United States lawmakers echoed a similar sentiment, expressing a desire to update NAFTA while recognizing its benefits.

He said he hoped to maintain the current trilateral format of Nafta, but noted that many of Nafta's problems are bilateral issues that need to be worked out with either Mexico or Canada.

"Nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada". By integrating supply chains across North America, keeping a significant share of production in the US became an option for auto makers.

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said he wants the renegotiation to cut the best deal for USA workers.

In a statement, it says: "We reaffirm our willingness to update the agreement in order to successfully address the challenges of the 21st century". "The net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP". Mexico and Canada signaled that they welcome the opportunity to modernize the agreement.

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