Trump administration readies NAFTA renegotiation

Robert Lighthizer speaks after he was sworn as U.S. Trade Representative during a ceremony at the White House in Washington

Industry associations urge USTR to 'do no harm' on NAFTA

Lighthizer declined to say whether withdrawal from NAFTA is still on the table, but said he hopes withdrawal is not necessary.

The president must give Congress a 90-day notice before beginning talks.

"Congress and the Administration must work hand-in-hand if we are to achieve the high-standard trade agreements our country needs to grow", Sen. It's also a way for Congress to ensure it's involved in the process.

"Obviously trade is an important, extremely important issue", said Tillerson.

In recent weeks, U.S.

That letter called for restricting federal procurement to US suppliers, reexamining an often criticized legal process that settles disputes between investors and governments, and renegotiating NAFTA's rules of origin, which determine how much raw material from outside North American can be included in goods that qualify for the favorable terms of the trade pact.

Lighthizer said the reason for the renegotiations was to "modernize" the trade deal to address provisions on intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, rules for state-owned enterprises, customs procedures, food safety standards and labor and environmental standards.

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

Both. The law imposes the timeline, so the administration has to respect that.

Mexico and Canada indicated they welcomed the opportunity to modernise NAFTA.

Before Thursday, Trump's NAFTA comments had been limited to bluster. Former FBI director Robert Mueller this week was named special counsel overseeing a probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election. After a February meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he talked about "tweaking" it. More recently, he has talked about subjecting it to a "massive" renegotiation.

The roughly one-page letter sent from Lighthizer to members of Congress on Thursday contained few details about the administration's plans. "We absolutely must not have any disruptions in exports to our No. 2 (Mexico) and No. 4 (Canada) markets", says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill.

Chapter 19 bars federal agencies or USA citizens from appealing decisions by unaccountable foreign nationals regarding findings of US law to USA courts. "It's all about expanding exports or making gains overseas".

In 1993, the year before NAFTA took effect, the United States had sold Mexico $41.6 billion in goods and bought $39.9 billion for a trade surplus of $1.7 billion.

But on Thursday, it was the top USA diplomat who said the root of the deadly drug trafficking crisis killing thousands of people on both sides of the border was American drug habits.

"So as much as it's blown up in the media a little bit, it's not something that we're looking to change and the government has been really clear about that".

That said, some might be surprised the letter emerged just eight days after Lighthizer was confirmed.

Trump made NAFTA a key issue during the election, calling it the "worst deal in United States history, " and promising to "tear it up" if he could not renegotiate the agreement.

Q. What does this mean for Canada? "As the renegotiation process begins, we encourage the Trump administration to seize this opportunity to work together with Canada and Mexico to support strong and enforceable currency manipulation disciplines in trade agreements and encourage the global acceptance of vehicles built to USA auto safety standards". "We have complete confidence in the Canadian government that they will continue to defend dairy farmers".

Latest News