US launches NAFTA renegotiation countdown

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

President Trump’s  on Thursday launched the 90-day countdown to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA)

Robert Lighthizer, the US Trade Representative notified Congress of their intentions to revamp their pact with Canada and Mexico, which accounts for $1 trillion in annual trade. In a statement, talks will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017. USTR will consult with “Congress and American stakeholders to create an agreement that advances the interests of America’s workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” he said.

During his campaign, Pres. Trump vowed to scrap NAFTA altogether, reiterating that it was a disaster for US workers. He repeatedly complained that bad trade deals had cost America jobs and this gained him support among the working class voters, who were instrumental to his winning the elections. Pres. Trump backed away from the threat to withdraw from NAFTA after Canadian and Mexican officials urged Washington to renegotiate and modernize the trade pact instead of scrapping it.

[ SEE ALSO] US Sanctions on missile work show ‘ill will’ – Iran 

In a formal notification to Congress, Lighthizer said NAFTA had not kept up with changes in the economy and business, ”Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards,” he said. The administration aims to improve “effective implementation and aggressive enforcement” of NAFTA commitments, and will introduce additional provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulation, services, labor, environment and other issues, he said.

“The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the US economy by improving US opportunities under NAFTA,” he said. Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary said last week, that the White House was yet to decide whether to continue the pact as a three-nation deal, or split it into two separate bilateral agreements, a move opposed by Canada and Mexico.  Ross stressed that the emphasis should be on “free and fair trade.” said in a statement Thursday.

[READ ALSO] Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to appear in a rare all-senate briefing

“With this letter, we intend to notify not just Congress, but all our trading partners, that free and fair trade is the new standard for US trade deals, since the signing of NAFTA, we have seen our manufacturing industry decimated, factories shuttered, and countless workers left jobless. President Trump is going to change that.” Ross said.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail