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Trump administration announces plan to renegotiate NAFTA
December 16 2017, 10:33 | Alonzo Simpson
"Modest tweaks will not stop NAFTA's ongoing damage, much less deliver on (President Donald) Trump's promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages", she says. "Since NAFTA was implemented, USA agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled and quintupled, respectively".
Lighthizer says the aim is for NAFTA to be modernised to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, labour, environment, and small and medium enterprises.
Trucks wait in a long queue for border customs control to cross into the U.S.at the Otay border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico on February 2, 2017.
The announcement came as Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray was meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.
Lighthizer noted in his letter to Congress that the economy and businesses have changed considerably in the 25 years since NAFTA was negotiated but the agreement has not.
Freeland said modernizing worldwide trade agreements is good practice, and Canada will take a "very thoughtful and very strategic approach" in NAFTA talks.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he looks forward to working with Trump, Lighthizer, and their counterparts in Canada and Mexico, "to find a solution that is both fair and beneficial for all parties". In recent weeks, President Trump had indicated an intention to terminate NAFTA, but decided instead to renegotiate the agreement after "pleasant and productive" conversations with President Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. Open trade is critical to ensuring North American consumers have access to fresh fruit and vegetables year-round, as well as ensuring growth and economic sustainability. Trump heavily criticized the TPP during the campaign and signed a presidential memo to formally withdraw the United States from the deal as one of his first actions in office.
However, Trump wants the USA government to favor American suppliers and experts worry that could lead to retaliation by Mexico and Canada.
The statement, sent from U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to congressional leaders Thursday morning, offered few, if any, details on what specifically the administration hoped to change. The fruit and vegetable industry is highly dependent on global trade, both exports from the United States and imports from critical trading partners such as Mexico and Canada.
"We are not satisfied to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to any renegotiation of NAFTA", Wynne said in a statement.
The 90-day period would end August 16, 2017.
"NAFTA has been vital to the growth of the USA insurance industry, but as with any agreement that's almost a quarter of a century old, NAFTA can be improved".
The split in Congress - which must approve any major overhaul of Nafta - mirrors a division in the Trump administration between traditional business-friendly Republicans and the economic nationalists who frequently join with liberals in calling for measures at the border to protect American workers from unfair competition. "If renegotiations result in a fairer deal for American workers there is value in making the transition to a modernized NAFTA as seamless as possible".
She says almost nine million United States jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada. He once referred to it as the "worst trade deal in the history of the world".