Trump Officially Moves to Renegotiate NAFTA

While many lawmakers have endorsed the idea of a NAFTA reboot, others have also cautioned against any premature actions that could destabilise U.S. trade ties with key export markets.

As a candidate, Trump defined his "America First" stance as a means to fight unfair foreign competition. Freeland described the renegotiations as an "opportunity to determine how we can best align NAFTA to new realities - and integrate progressive, free and fair approaches to trade and investment". American farmers have mostly benefited from the reduction in trade barriers. The United States has enjoyed a trade surplus in farm products since at least 1967, government data show. China was the largest market, importing $21.4 billion in American ag products a year ago.

Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, says the United States could seek modest "technocratic" changes, including provisions to update NAFTA to reflect technologies that have emerged since the original agreement was negotiated.

Many farmers worry that Trump's policies will jeopardize their exports just as they face weaker crop and livestock prices.

NAFTA did lead some American manufacturers to move factories and jobs to Mexico.

Negotiated by President George H.W. Bush and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994. "NFU urges them to do so in a fashion that does not upset the positive trade relations the US agriculture community relies upon". "We can make this a negotiation that is good for the three parties involved, certainly, under a win-win framework", Videgaray said, according to the State Department transcript. "We need to take care not to blow the significant gains that agriculture has won".

Q. What does the USA want?

Canada and the United States are unlikely to strike a deal on a dispute over lumber exports by the time talks on renewing NAFTA start in mid-August, a source close to the matter said on Thursday.

"President Trump is going to change that", the released added.

"I tried to demonstrate to him that in the agricultural market, sometimes words like "withdraw" or "terminate" can have a major impact on markets", Perdue said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"If the administration intends on renegotiating NAFTA, it must guarantee growers that new terms won't reverse the significant benefits for USA wheat farmers, like duty free access", said David Schemm, president of the North American Wheat Growers.

During his election, Trump pledged to announce his intent to renegotiate or leave the pact. Trump argued that the pact would cost Americans jobs by pitting them against low-wage Asian labor. Early in his presidency he also threatened to use a 20% tariff against Mexican imports.

"For far too long, our nation has stuck to a free trade agenda that has led to a massive $500 billion annual trade deficit, lost jobs, and lowered wages in rural communities across the USA", said Roger Johnson, NFU president.

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