Trump notifies Congress of intent to renegotiate NAFTA

Negotiations, however, will begin no earlier than August 16.

In his letter to congressional leaders, Lighthizer said Nafta needs modernisation for provisions on digital trade, intellectual property rights, labour and environmental standards, regulatory practices, rules for state-owned enterprises and food-safety standards.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called NAFTA very unfair to American businesses and workers and was ready to terminate the deal completely before speaking with Canadian and French officials and conferring with his cabinet last month.

"USTR will now continue consultations with Congress and American stakeholders to create an agreement that advances the interests of America's workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses". "The North American Free Trade Agreement has been successful, with significant volumes of trade in produce flowing north and south across borders".

NPPC said US pork exports to Canada and Mexico previous year were almost $799 million and nearly $1.4 billion.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he is putting Congress and trading partners on notice that "free and fair" trade is the new standard in the U.S.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 14 million US jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

"We need to make sure that NAFTA is not a back-door negotiation for the privileged few", said Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians.

Recently the Trump administration announced a mini-deal with China on trade - the first fruits of a larger effort to renegotiate the U.S.

President Trump talks to reporters during a meeting on May 10, 2017.

"The world has changed, we've learned a lot and we can make it better", he said.

"NAFTA's track record is one of economic growth and middle-class job creation, both here in Canada and throughout North America", she said in a statement. Mexico, which imported $17.9 billion in US food, was the third-largest market.

However, the Mexican foreign secretary said that the new trade deal must preserve the existing trilateral structure to ensure a fair deal.

The senators noted that NAFTA has led to "tremendous growth" in US trade with Mexico and Canada, and that it has "integrated cross-border supply chains that benefit USA employers, and more than tripled USA exports of goods, including agricultural and manufactured goods, and services". The dairy groups have also continued to call for improving market access to Canada and tackling that country's expanding list of protectionist policies and other barriers to US dairy exports.

NAFTA was signed under President Bill Clinton in 1993.

National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock urged Lighthizer to remember the interests of US agriculture as they begin modernizing the agreement.

  • Leroy Wright