Economy

Trump kick starts process to renegotiate NAFTA trade deal

Trump kick starts process to renegotiate NAFTA trade deal

The Trump administration today informed Congress that it intends to officially begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

Reps. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., and Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., called the Thursday announcement disappointing "for those of us who believe that USA trade policy - and NAFTA - needs fundamental reform". In a statement, talks will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017. The U.S. administration hopes to wrap up negotiations this year before a final deal is presented to Congress for approval.

"We are at an important juncture that offers us an opportunity to determine how we can best align NAFTA to new realities - and integrate progressive, free and fair approaches to trade and investment", Freeland said.

The Trump administration also wants to change the dispute resolution mechanisms set up under the agreement.

Freeland, who has raised the matter with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and other senior officials, added: "I do not feel that any of those conversations from the U.S. side have yielded a sufficiently good basis for a really meaningful negotiation to take place".

She reiterated the government's key message on NAFTA - that it is in fact a good deal for all parties, including the USA, where nine million American jobs are dependent on it. It's a major thoroughfare for trade between Mexico and the U.S.

Pacheco tells ABC-7 the 23-year contract between the U.S. Mexico and Canada could use some revamping.

"Sectors such as manufacturing, particularly with regard to Mexico, have fallen behind, he said. Central to any successful NAFTA negotiations will be changes to Canada's new policies created to harm bilateral trade and dump their structural dairy surplus on the world market".

A report released by the Congressional Research Service found that NAFTA's impact on the us economy "appears to have been relatively modest". The treaty needs to be updated to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, and environmental issues.

"I welcome the administration's effort to improve and update NAFTA for the 21st century economy", Ryan said in a statement.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the chamber sees opportunity in the upcoming NAFTA negotiations. NAFTA took on a starring role during the election campaign a year ago, with Trump promising voters to either throw it out or renegotiate a deal he claims sent millions of USA manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

The announcement came as Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray was meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington. Trump has threatened to withdraw from the pact if negotiations are unsuccessful. During the 2016 presidential election campaign, he talked about scrapping it. The president was already facing a backlash over his firing of the FBI director and accusations he tried to end an investigation into the former national security adviser-which the White House denies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's letter to Congress is far from belligerent.

Q. What does the US want?

Still pending, however: Exactly how Trump plans to improve it.

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said he wants the renegotiation to cut the best deal for USA workers. "We don't know enough". United States negotiators have to present specific proposals to Congress 30 days before they sit down with their Nafta counterparts.

The action to reopen NAFTA was expected. The U.S. has also indicated it would like to overhaul the process under which foreign companies can be challenged in court by the state, and strengthen the ability of government contracts to give preference to U.S. companies.


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