U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified congressional leaders in a letter Thursday that the president intends to launch negotiations with Canada and Mexico “as soon as practicable”.
Yet Donald Trump would have us believe that Mexicans have made out like bandits from NAFTA, robbing middle-class jobs from the United States.
The renegotiation provides the Trump Administration with a unique opportunity to reset the USA trade agenda, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).
Back in March, a draft of a letter sent to lawmakers said the Trump administration would seek tax equality and the ability to slap tariffs on Mexican and Canadian imports if they pose a serious injury threat to US industry. “Mexico reaffirms its willingness to update NAFTA”.
In the letter Lighthizer points out that NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago and many of its provisions don’t “reflect modern standards”.
A quick turnaround on Nafta would be a much-needed win for the embattled president, who learned this week that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller will investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. “We look forward to examining effective ways NAFTA can be modernized”, concluded Guenther.
Luis Videgaray, Mexico’s foreign minister, said at an event in Washington Thursday that his country is ready for the talks.
The relationship is even more important to the North Country economy, Douglas said.
Both organizations commented that trade in fresh fruit and vegetables in North America is highly integrated across the entire supply chain. Critics countered that low-wage competition from Mexico would wipe out American factory jobs.
“You can’t really blow up Nafta”.
He was especially concerned about labor standards in Mexico: “Instead of being clear that Mexico will be required to change their laws and bring their practices into compliance with internationally recognized labor standards, they have stated that these are “sensitive” issues”, Levin said. “The North American Free Trade Agreement has been successful, with significant volumes of trade in produce flowing north and south across borders”. “You can’t whack Mexican exports without whacking USA exports”.
Though manufacturing has dominated much of the discussion about NAFTA, U.S. agriculture has a huge stake, too.
Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said many United States jobs depend on NAFTA which has created growth throughout the region.
Some politicians and “experts” still don’t understand – or don’t want to understand – that a great deal of popular discontent in the United States, Mexico, and Canada alike is rooted in undemocratic policies that have produced inequality, unemployment, migration, food dependency, and pollution. After Trump publicly slammed Canada’s dairy, softwood and energy industries, the USA imposed a 24 per cent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber.
“Today, President Trump fulfilled one of his key promises to the American people”.
Certain U.S. products now running the biggest deficits could become targets for Trump administration negotiators.
During the campaign, Donald Trump called NAFTA “a disaster”.
Negotiations will enter a very sensitive environment.
“If I’m unable to make a fair deal, if I’m unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA”, Trump said on April 27 in remarks during a meeting with the president of Argentina.