Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump pulls trigger on Nafta negotiations

Trump pulls trigger on Nafta negotiations

"As the renegotiation process begins, we encourage the Trump administration to seize this opportunity to work together with Canada and Mexico to support strong and enforceable currency manipulation disciplines in trade agreements and encourage the global acceptance of vehicles built to USA auto safety standards".

The Trump administration on Thursday formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a step forward on a campaign promise that was widely popular among voters but has unsettled the us companies that have constructed their businesses around the trade deal's provisions. That means the earliest Canada's negotiators could be sitting down with their counterparts to discuss their opening positions would be August 16.

Lightizer says the goal of bringing the three countries to the table will be to enable the use the deal to support higher paying jobs and to grow the economy. "Our aim is that NAFTA be modernized to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises".

"We note that Nafta was renegotiated 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, Nafta has not", wrote United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer in the letter.

Supporters said the agreement would promote trade and create jobs across a North American single market.

He says the USA manufacturing industry has been decimated by NAFTA, a deal the White House considers deeply unfair. "President Trump is going to change that", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Thursday.

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

Lighthizer stressed that NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while US economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not.

The importance of ag exports to Canada and Mexico shouldn't be overlooked or taken for granted, says Chip Councell, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council and a Maryland farmer, in a written statement.

On the campaign trail President Trump spoke out aggressively against NAFTA, calling it "the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere".

NAFTA's impact on the economy was more modest than partisans on either side of the debate had expected.

There were reports in April that Trump was considering an executive order to withdraw the usa from NAFTA.

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

Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso said Mexico welcomes the negotiations and that his nation has been kept informed and will approach the process constructively.

Canada and Mexico both welcomed the US move to launch a NAFTA revamp.

"I'm confident that through close consultation we can chart a course that not only strengthens this vital trade pact but also preserves our strong economic partnerships with Canada and Mexico". "We are steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region and to ensuring that the benefits of trade are enjoyed by all Canadians".

The trade agreement has dramatically increased trade among the three countries. "We think it is very important to.not disrupt supply chains that have been built up and greatly benefit USA businesses, workers and consumers over the last two decades".

The agreement, which has been in place since 1994, lifted numerous tariffs on trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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