Trump administration confirms renegotiation of NAFTA

Ivan Schwartz
May 20, 2017

"The way we're going to go about it is product by product, country by country", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Thursday, referring to trade policy generally.

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

He also alleged that "Since the signing of NAFTA, we have seen our manufacturing industry decimated, factories shuttered, and countless workers left jobless".

Canada and Mexico supported TPP, and so they might be open to renegotiating Nafta in that way.

Trump has called NAFTA a "horrible deal" for the U.S. He discussed "tweaking" parts of the deal in February, and in April, he threatened to scrap it.

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

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He added that the agreement was outdated and did not reflect modern standards. Within hours, the president reversed course and said that he'd seek a better deal first. He promised a very aggressive negotiating schedule to conclude the talks as quickly as possible. "I can not emphasize how important our Mexican customers are to USA wheat farmers", says Jason Scott, USW chair. "NAFTA is a trilateral agreement and the conversations need to be trilateral in nature. 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". Washington's current political upheaval - and Mr. Trump's trade-related threats to neighbors - could also derail a deal. "I mean it's like Trump. long on rhetoric and short on detail", said Jerry Pacheco.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed what was a widely anticipated development, promising to consult with Canadians on the best way forward.

"Nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada".

Both organizations commented that trade in fresh fruit and vegetables in North America is highly integrated across the entire supply chain. Yet like all trade deals, its benefits have been broadly distributed over the US population, while its negative consequences have been felt sharply by a smaller group of people who have lost their jobs as industries have reorganized throughout North America.

Congressman Tim Ryan, D-13 District, in a statement issued Thursday said he is apprehensive about the transparency of those negotiations, citing what he called an Administration of evasion and secrecy. American Farm Bureau "looks forward to working with the administration, Congress, other agricultural groups, and officials in Canada and Mexico to protect these important markets while also addressing issues that have limited the trade potential of USA farmers and ranchers".

The reason is that NAFTA was never designed for the development of our peoples through trade, but instead to advance the narrow corporate interests of multi-national firms and the governments that serve them.

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