Trump administration launches NAFTA renegotiations to 'modernize' trade deal by year's end

"Since the signing of NAFTA, we have seen our manufacturing industry decimated, factories shuttered, and countless workers left jobless", Ross said.

In the opinion of Merkley, "If Trump's wealthy and powerful friends dictate the terms of the renegotiation, NAFTA could easily become worse, not better, for working Americans".

The US textile industry has welcomed President Donald Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA, saying it is in America's national interest to modernise the trade agreement. "The net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP".

"As a starting point for negotiations, we should build on what has worked in NAFTA and change and improve what has not", Lighthizer said.

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 USA in trade circles.

"As the president has said, we are going to give renegotiation a good strong shot", Lighthizer told reporters, adding that he believed Canada and Mexico would negotiate in good faith. He promised a very aggressive negotiating schedule to conclude the talks as quickly as possible.

The announcement coincided with a meeting in Washington involving US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and their Mexican counterparts, Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray and Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, respectively. Insisting on ideas like that would make agreement hard to reach. "NAFTA is a trilateral agreement and the conversations need to be trilateral in nature".

Both organizations commented that trade in fresh fruit and vegetables in North America is highly integrated across the entire supply chain. It has been confirmed negotiations will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017. But in an earlier statement she stressed that many USA jobs depend on NAFTA which has created growth throughout the region.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that NAFTA has a track record of "economic growth and middle-class job creation" on both sides of the border and that 9 million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada. A Nafta modernized along those lines would indeed be a better deal than the good one that's already in force. "So far, this administration's trade policy has been characterized by a lot of talk and no action", he said in a statement.

Both organizations look forward to working with its partners in Canada, the USA and Mexico on this issue to ensure an open and vibrant produce supply chain.

"Given that the agreement is more than two decades old, there are areas in which NAFTA will benefit from strengthening and modernization", the letter states.

  • Zachary Reyes