The Trump administration today notified the Congress that it intends to begin renegotiating the North America Free Trade Agreement by August, making good on a campaign promise that was widely popular among voters.
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.
Though manufacturing has dominated much of the discussion about NAFTA, U.S. agriculture has a huge stake, too.
"I would note that many of these negotiations will be bilateral and numerous issues are bilateral, but our hope is that we will end up with a structure that is similar to what we have now", he added. "The whole energy sector has changed and the way we do business has too so I'm not averse to any of that", Pacheco said.
"U.S. pork trade with Canada and Mexico has been very robust, and we need to maintain and even improve that trade", Maschhoff said.
A law called the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 sets timetables on how a President's administration can go about negotiating deals. "The net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP".
And on Thursday, the Commerce Department said it would investigate claims by Boeing that its Canadian aerospace rival Bombardier is unfairly subsidised by taxpayers and has been selling planes below cost in the US.
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Lighthizer says the U.S.is going to give renegotiation "a good strong shot", saying the 23-year-old agreement needs to better protect American factory workers and to reflect new technologies.
Canada and Mexico have only limited room to make deep concessions given their domestic political situations, and Mexico has elections next year that could complicate any protracted talks.
The U.S. can be expected to play hardball when the NAFTA negotiations begin, but its negotiators shouldn't expect Canada and Mexico to accept a deal that is counterproductive to their own economies. By reworking NAFTA, Louisiana can maintain its competitiveness in North American markets.
"U.S. fresh produce and floral retail markets depend on supplies from overseas". The Canadian Cattlemen's Association and Mexico's Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas joined the U.S. National Cattlemen's Beef Association in defending gains under NAFTA.
"NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not", the letter reads.
But Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray on Thursday told reporters that "NAFTA is a trilateral treaty and must have a trilateral nature".
During the presidential campaign, Trump called NAFTA "a disaster".
Trump had threatened to withdraw from the agreement, only to relent in late April when the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other parties to the deal, asked him to renegotiate, instead.