Trump triggers NAFTA renegotiation

The Trump administration on Thursday set the clock ticking towards a mid-August start of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico to try to win better terms for American workers and manufacturers.

"While NAFTA has been an overall positive for American agriculture, any trade deal can always be improved", said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in response to the announcement.

On Thursday the Trump administration officially began its effort to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Trump had threatened to withdraw completely from the agreement, only to relent in late April when the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other parties to the deal, called and asked him to renegotiate instead.

In particular, we note that NAFTA was negotiated over 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not.

The move was met with skepticism by organizations that have long pressed for major changes to Nafta and have argued that Mr. Trump had already fallen short of his promises on trade.

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But many Democrats say they will try to hold the administration to its promises on labor and environmental standards, a ban on currency manipulation and novel rules to bring back manufacturing jobs. He promised a very aggressive negotiating schedule to conclude the talks as quickly as possible. Insisting on ideas like that would make agreement hard to reach.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister has reiterated the Government's commitment to NAFTA following the US Administration's launch of consultations on its renegotiation. "NAFTA is a trilateral agreement and the conversations need to be trilateral in nature". She defended the trade deal, which has been updated 11 times, but stressed that Canada will seek to get the best deal for its citizens.

Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham, also weighed in on the administration's intent to renegotiate NAFTA, saying in a statement that he's encouraged by the administration's interest in protecting against currency manipulation as part of the renegotiation process.

Freeland stressed that "NAFTA's track record is one of economic growth and middle-class job creation, both here in Canada and throughout North America". "It is in America's national interest to modernise the agreement". "Nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada".

The Obama administration attempted to address many of these deficiencies in the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which included Canada and Mexico, but Trump pulled out of TPP in one of his first official acts as president, according to a Reuters report.

"I can not emphasize enough how important our Mexican customers are to U.S. wheat farmers", Jason Scott, a wheat farmer from Easton, Md., and chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, which promotes U.S. wheat exports, says in a written statement. By integrating supply chains across North America, keeping a significant share of production in the US became an option for auto makers.

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