White House Starts The Clock On NAFTA Renegotiations

US President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to renegotiate the NAFTA deal with Canada and Mexico

"The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the USA economy by improving US opportunities under NAFTA", the letter reads.

Lighthizer stressed that NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while US economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not. It proposes "modernization" of the agreement, with new provisions on digital trade, intellectual-property rights, labor and environmental standards, regulatory measures and so on.

"While NAFTA has been an overall positive for American agriculture, any trade deal can always be improved", said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in response to the announcement.

The letter from Lighthizer, who was sworn in this week, triggers a 90-day period, meaning talks would begin in August at the earliest.

Mr. Lighthizer said he hopes to preserve Nafta's existing structure but that numerous negotiations would be conducted bilaterally.

The AAPC is a Washington, D.C., association that says it "represents the common public policy interests" of FCA US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company. "Modest tweaks will not stop NAFTA's ongoing damage, much less deliver on (President Donald) Trump's promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages", she says.

"You're struggling to understand what exactly he wants to negotiate and what the intent is".

"The world has changed, we've learned a lot and we can make it better", he said.

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Lighthizer, during his March 15 confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, said he would do his best to protect what farmers have gained under NAFTA under any renegotiation.

"The agreement is trilateral and should continue to be a trilateral platform. Why?" The National Pork Producers Council urged the president to make sure that tariffs remain at zero for pork traded in North America.

Randy Hoback, the Conservative Party's critic for Canada-U.S. relations, said Thursday that NAFTA has been a good agreement over the years, so there's a good base for the three countries to build upon.

Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative notified Congress of their intentions to revamp their pact with Canada and Mexico, which accounts for $1 trillion in annual trade.

"We intend to notify not just Congress, but all our trading partners, that free and fair trade is the new standard for US trade deals", US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. "With that said, NAFTA can be improved to incentivise more textile and apparel jobs and production in the United States, Canada, and Mexico", Tantillo added. "However, there were worker and firm adjustment costs as the three countries adjusted to more open trade and investment".

"I look forward working with the president, Ambassador Lighthizer, and our counterparts from Mexico and Canada to find a solution that is both fair and beneficial for all parties".

The two-page letter offered few details about what changes the administration would seek in the 23-year-old pact that President Donald Trump has called "a disaster". There's no guarantee its next president will cooperate with Trump on NAFTA given his anti-Mexico rhetoric. Last year, trade between Arizona and Mexico totaled an estimated $30 billion.

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