Trump administration formally launches NAFTA renegotiation
Negotiations with Canada and Mexico will begin as soon as August 16, the administration said. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to redo the No.
The importance of ag exports to Canada and Mexico shouldn’t be overlooked or taken for granted, says Chip Councell, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council and a Maryland farmer, in a written statement. “With this renegotiation of NAFTA, the Trump Administration has the opportunity to reset that agenda by instituting a new, fair trade framework that works for family farmers, ranchers, and rural residents”. “This modernization must strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global economy rather than impose new barriers”, NFTC President Rufus Yerxa said in a statement.
He had previously said the deal does more harm than good to the country’s economy, believing that other states were taking advantage of the U.S. in trade circles.
The renegotiation provides the Trump Administration with a unique opportunity to reset the US trade agenda, according to National Farmers Union (NFU). “In particular, we note that NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not”.
“NAFTA’s track record is one of economic growth and middle-class job creation, both here in Canada and throughout North America”.
US wheat industry officials say renegotiating NAFTA could bring benefits, but they urge caution. However, there were worker and firm adjustment costs as the three countries adjusted to more open trade and investment. And Mexico slapped tariffs on US goods ranging from ham to onions to Christmas trees in 2009 to protest a ban on Mexican trucks crossing the border. Current NAFTA rules say disputes should be heard by a panel of members from all three countries.
“We believe today’s action signals the beginning of a strong trade agenda for USA exporters”. “The letter, on the other hand, emphasizes that the Administration’s goal is merely to “improve” and “modernize” NAFTA”.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed what was a widely anticipated development, promising to consult with Canadians on the best way forward. “NAFTA, along with other US trading relationships, has facilitated the USA position as the world’s largest importer of fresh produce, importing more than 17 million tons in 2014”. Lighthizer cited a lack of modernity in light of more recent digital trade developments as the reason for renegotiation. The letter also states that new provisions were needed to address “intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises”. Trump heavily criticized the TPP during the campaign and signed a presidential memo to formally withdraw the United States from the deal as one of his first actions in office.
It remains to be seen whether numerous administration’s goals for renegotiating NAFTA are drawn from provisions in the TPP.