Trump Officially Starts NAFTA Renegotiation Countdown

In this Tuesday, April 4, 2017, photo, Blake Hurst, a corn and soybean farmer and president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, walks to the tractor shed on his farm in Westboro, Mo.

During the presidential campaign, Trump called NAFTA "a disaster".

However, the next day Trump tweeted that he would still terminate the agreement "if we do not reach a fair deal for all".

Premier Kathleen Wynne says a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is an opportunity to improve trade relations for Ontario.

Farm Country suddenly went on red alert. "Any changes to NAFTA must put Americas working families first, and recognise the fundamental connection between commerce and climate", Pelosi said.

The Mexican government says it "welcomes" the opportunity to renegotiate NAFTA. He wouldn't actually dump NAFTA, he said.

US President Donald Trump has formally triggered the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Farmers have been relieved that NAFTA has survived so far.

In his remarks Thursday morning, Lighthizer noted that the deal was negotiated more than 23 years ago and was in need of updates.

"The way we're going to go about it is product by product, country by country", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Thursday, referring to trade policy generally.

There also has been some speculation that the United States would seek separate deals with Canada and Mexico, rather than retaining a three-country arrangement. China was the largest market, importing $21.4 billion in American ag products previous year.

The draft letter indicated a much more conventional approach to negotiation than many had expected, given Trump's fiery rhetoric about trade deals on the campaign trail. "Mexico reaffirms its willingness to update NAFTA". But since it took effect in 1994 and eased tariffs, annual farm exports to Mexico have jumped almost five-fold to about $18 billion.

US Canada

Good idea! And it so happens that a convenient template for most of those changes already exists in the abandoned Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the us stupidly failed to close previous year.

In recent speeches, Donohue has said that 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico and that the first objective of the administration should be to "do no harm".

"We have to be careful not to lose what we gained ... 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 2016, Mexico purchased 30% of all Kansas agricultural exports.

Trilateral negotiations could begin as early as August 16.

The trade deal, signed in 1992 and put into effect in 1994, became one of the defining issues of the 2016 presidential campaign, especially in MI. "As I have often said, if our people continue to grow it, USDA will be there to sell it", said Secretary Perdue. "I think it does demonstrate a honest effort on the part of the President".

Before issuing Thursday's letter, Lighthizer held two days of meetings with congressional committees this week, as also required by US trade rules.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. "You can't whack Mexican exports without whacking US exports". That created a trade deficit in goods of more than $63 billion.

Trucks wait in a long queue for border customs control to cross into the the Otay border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico on February 2, 2017.

Last month, White House aides spread word that Trump was ready to pull out of NAFTA.

"There is no question that Nafta has been tremendously successful", said Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade. "It's too big a relationship and it would hurt too many companies", said Greg Husisian, a partner at law firm Foley & Lardner in Washington.

"NAFTA's track record is one of economic growth and middle-class job creation, both here in Canada and throughout North America", Freeland said in a statement. "We will not stand for this".

  • Carolyn Briggs