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United Fresh Issues Statement On NAFTA Renegotiation

20 May 2017

Donald Trump has put in motion the process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The letter gives Canada and Mexico a 90-day notice before the negotiations could begin. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the administration aims to improve U.S. opportunities under NAFTA to create better jobs and grow the nation's economy.

"Today President Trump fulfilled one of his key promises to the American people", Lighthizer said Thursday, according to the paper. "NAFTA by trade agreement standards is an ancient trade agreement", Schwab said.

"If I'm unable to make a fair deal, if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA", Trump said on April 27 in remarks during a meeting with the president of Argentina. But Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on Thursday told reporters that "NAFTA is a trilateral treaty and must have a trilateral nature".

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The importance of ag exports to Canada and Mexico shouldn't be overlooked or taken for granted, says Chip Councell, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council and a Maryland farmer, in a written statement.

I hope the administration plans to negotiate in good faith with our friends Canada and Mexico.

The president, whose campaign trail vows to tear up Nafta appealed to his base of disaffected working-class voters aggrieved by globalization, is under mounting pressure to follow through on his pledge.

"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. In a notification letter sent today to Congress, Ambassador Lighthizer outlined some of the areas of the agreement that are either outdated or missing - several of which are important to the US dairy industry - and reaffirmed commitment to pursuing the trade priorities outlined by TPA, including goals related to market access and curbing the abuse of geographical indications. He also cited digital trade, describing it as "in its infancy when NAFTA was enacted".

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"We should build on what has worked in NAFTA but change and improve what has not", Lighthizer said. Trump slapped a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber in April and Mexican officials have repeatedly warned him not to use tariffs, saying they would hit the USA with tariffs too.

A report released by the Congressional Research Service found that NAFTA's impact on the us economy "appears to have been relatively modest". Though Mexico's traditional ruling party did lose a few presidential elections, the continued involution and deterioration of the Mexican political system since 2000 has put lie to the claim that NAFTA was going to spur meaningful democratization. "Achieving this objective starts with ensuring the negotiations protect US agriculture's benefits under the current trade agreement".

"For those of us who believe that USA trade policy and Nafta need fundamental reform, this notice is very disappointing", said Rep. Richard Neal of MA and Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, two Democrats on Mr. Brady's committee, explaining they don't think potential policy changes will go far enough.

Though manufacturing has dominated much of the discussion about NAFTA, U.S. agriculture has a huge stake, too.

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However, Trump wants the USA government to favor American suppliers and experts worry that could lead to retaliation by Mexico and Canada.