Michigan Democrats urge Trump to work closely with Congress on NAFTA renegotiation

President Donald Trump has frequently denounced the North American Free Trade Agreement, promising either to renegotiate it with extreme prejudice or terminate it altogether.

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".

"We should build on what has worked in NAFTA but change and improve what has not", Lighthizer said. Lighthizer noted the deal has been a success for some USA industries, such as agriculture, investment services and energy.

"We are at an important juncture that offers us an opportunity to determine how we can best align NAFTA to new realities - and integrate progressive, free and fair approaches to trade and investment, " Freeland said, according to a statement Thursday. "For example, digital trade was in its infancy when Nafta was enacted".

"The Trump Administration understands that NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture", said Wesley Spurlock, National Corn Growers Association president.

That county's voters backed Trump more than 3-to-1 in the election but now feel "it would be better if the rhetoric (on trade) was a little less strident", says Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Trump has pledged to use the Nafta talks to shrink goods trade deficits that stood at $63 billion (€56.5 billion) with Mexico and $11 billion with Canada previous year, according to USA census bureau data.

Canada has indicated that it is open to renegotiations, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowing to work closely with the new USA president on the trade deal. "With that said, NAFTA can be improved to incentivise more textile and apparel jobs and production in the United States, Canada, and Mexico", Tantillo added.

In his campaign for the White House, Donald Trump stressed the dangers of consistently running a trade deficit.

U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to congressional leaders Thursday, starting 90 days of consultations with lawmakers over how to revamp the pact.

"It suggests they want to modernize and update the agreement, rather than doing a complete makeover", said Wendy Cutler, managing director of the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Trump has called NAFTA a "horrible deal" for the U.S. He discussed "tweaking" parts of the deal in February, and in April, he threatened to scrap it.

However, Trump wants the US government to favor American suppliers and experts worry that could lead to retaliation by Mexico and Canada. "At the end of the day our objective is going to be to negotiate a great deal for Canadians", she said, declining to give any details of Ottawa's negotiating position.

"We do have a preference: The agreement is trilateral and should continue to be a trilateral platform", Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told reporters at a briefing with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington. While U.S. politicians have called the tax an unfair subsidy, Mexico argues the system is in line with global trade rules.

  • Zachary Reyes