Finance

Trump triggers NAFTA renegotiation

Trump triggers NAFTA renegotiation

"As President Trump moves forward with renegotiating with Canada and Mexico, I am confident this will result in a better deal for our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers", Perdue said. But Trump faces stiff resistance from business-minded Republicans in Congress and sectors that fear major changes would harm their bottom lines. "However, there are certainly specific challenges within fresh produce that NAFTA modernization can aggressively address, so we are pleased that this opportunity has been realized by the Administration". During the campaign, then-candidate Trump called NAFTA a "disaster", and renegotiation of the agreement is central to President Trump's "Top Issue" of "Trade Deals that Work For All Americans".

"As a starting point for negotiations, we should build on what has worked in NAFTA and change and improve what has not", Lighthizer told reporters in a conference call, Reuters reports.

President Donald Trump has officially alerted Congress that he will begin NAFTA renegotiation talks. Pres. Trump backed away from the threat to withdraw from NAFTA after Canadian and Mexican officials urged Washington to renegotiate and modernize the trade pact instead of scrapping it. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers. Early in his presidency he also threatened to use a 20% tariff against Mexican imports. The agreement also encourages higher export volumes; according to the US Department of Commerce, Michigan - where the US auto industry is primarily concentrated - exported $23.5 billion in goods to Canada in 2015, and $11.7 billion in goods to Mexico. More recently, he has talked about subjecting it to a "massive" renegotiation.

Lighthizer: "USTR will now intensify the consultations with Congress. President Trump is going to change that", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Thursday.

In his letter to congressional leaders, Lighthizer said Nafta needs modernisation for provisions on digital trade, intellectual property rights, labour and environmental standards, regulatory practices, rules for state-owned enterprises and food-safety standards.

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"Moreover, establishing effective implementation and aggressive enforcement of the commitments made by our trading partners under our trade agreements is vital to the success of those agreements and should be improved in the context of NAFTA", he said.

Freeland said it's premature to talk about NAFTA timelines, but she is heading to Mexico City next Tuesday, in part to discuss the trade accord with Mexican officials. Trump blamed lopsided trade relationships around the globe for the loss of manufacturing jobs and lackluster economic growth.

"We understand that this is a 25-year-old agreement when it was negotiated", Videgaray said. John McCain, R-Ariz. talk with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland during her visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

What a renegotiated NAFTA will look like and how it will affect Canada is anybody's guess, but the dairy and softwood lumber industries are two key areas of concern on this side of the border. The Canadian government did so again Thursday.

"The president's leadership on trade will permanently reverse the risky trajectory of American trade", Lighthizer told reporters Thursday.


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