Farm groups tell administration 'do no harm' on NAFTA

  • Farm groups tell administration 'do no harm' on NAFTA

Farm groups tell administration 'do no harm' on NAFTA

"Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer wrote in a letter to the Congress. Mexico accounted for 29 percent of total corn exports of $987 million that same year.

The NAFTA trade agreement is between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Supporters of NAFTA say USA consumer demand has fueled the US deficit and point out that the Mexican surplus has fallen since peaking a decade ago. Within hours, the president reversed course and said that he'd seek a better deal first.

A major hurdle was cleared last week when the Senate confirmed Trump's top negotiator, Robert Lighthizer. Our ability to be part of these negotiations is important to our members and will help ensure the outcome improves trade relationships with our neighboring countries.

"I think, when Canada is looking at what to do to try and ensure we get a good deal, is to take a very holistic approach and look at the other products that now go across the border and in both directions - what the Americans are sending to us, as well as what we export across the border, beyond softwood lumber". A Nafta modernized along those lines would indeed be a better deal than the good one that's already in force.

NAFTA took effect in 1994 and triggered a big increase in trade among the three countries.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that 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".

Trump has invoked the trade gap to argue that naive American policymakers had been out-negotiated by their Mexican counterparts.

The White House declined to comment on farmers' fears that Trump's trade policy stands to hurt them. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, called it "markedly vague". That started a 90-day period in which the administration must notify Congress of its goals for the talks.

Since January, United Fresh has been in constant dialogue with Congress, the Administration and other interested stakeholders to convey that the fruit and vegetable industry needs trade agreements that facilitate trade, rather than erecting barriers that protect specific interests. The Mexican official said he welcomed the opportunity to update the agreement, but insisted it must remain trilateral.

USTR noted that Trump announced the United States' intention to engage in negotiations related to NAFTA on February 2, and that since then, USTR has begun consultations with committees of jurisdiction in Congress and advisory committees. Or it could take a more aggressive approach, putting pressure on Mexico to reduce the trade gap, perhaps by dropping a value-added tax Mexico slaps on goods coming across the border. "With purchases exceeding 1 million bales, Mexico has emerged as one of US raw cotton's top five export destinations, and NAFTA plays a critical role in North America's highly integrated textile and apparel supply chain". Political pressures in 2018 - a presidential election in Mexico and congressional elections in the United States - could make it harder to seal an agreement next year.