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Trump administration kickstarts Nafta renegotiation

Trump administration kickstarts Nafta renegotiation

The talks with Canada and Mexico will begin "no earlier than August 16, 2017", US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

Lighthizer's letter said the White House is looking to improve "U.S. opportunities" under NAFTA, adding that many chapters of the trade accord are "outdated and do not reflect modern standards".

In an effort to fulfill another campaign promise, the Trump administration moved to renegotiate a major trade agreement that candidate Donald Trump blamed for "massive" USA job losses since it was instituted more than two decades ago.

"As a starting point for negotiations, we should build on what has worked in Nafta and change and improve what has not", Lighthizer said in a conference call with reporters.

"There is no question that NAFTA has been tremendously successful for American workers, farmers, and businesses", Kevin Brady, a Republican congressman from Texas, said in a statement. At the beginning of next week, Trump will send a notification to the US Congress about his plan to readjust NAFTA, what would mark the beginning of a time limit of 90 days to begin the negotiations.

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Lori Wallach, director of the Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, says NAFTA needs a complete overhaul. "We are steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region and to ensuring that the benefits of trade are enjoyed by all Canadians".

"The United States values its strong economic ties with Mexico and Canada, and these negotiations should work to enhance our trilateral trading relationship". "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. Tariff-free access to Canada and Mexico previous year were worth $799 million and $1.4 billion respectively.

Just three weeks ago Trump reneged on his vow to completely withdraw from Nafta, which represents a significant amount of USA exports and imports.

Lighthizer, during his March 15 confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, said he would do his best to protect what farmers have gained under NAFTA under any renegotiation.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday with the NAFTA announcement "we intend to notify not just Congress, but all our trading partners, that free and fair trade is the new standard for USA trade deals".

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"NAFTA has helped to boost the global competitiveness of the USA auto industry sector and we support modernizing the agreement in ways that will further strengthen North America as a manufacturing powerhouse, stimulate economic growth and drive job creation", American Automotive Policy Council Inc. "This includes pursuit of trade agreements that eliminate unfair, discriminatory and non-science-based regulatory barriers that disadvantage the industry both here in North America and throughout the globe". The world has changed, we've learned a lot, and we can make it better.

A report released by the Congressional Research Service found that NAFTA's impact on the us economy "appears to have been relatively modest".

The Mexican government also says that NAFTA "has been of huge benefit to all parties. The agreement also encouraged a more than tripling of regional trade and cross-border investment between the three countries also grew significantly".

President Donald Trump has officially alerted Congress that he will begin NAFTA renegotiation talks.

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