Nebraska Governor Joins Mexican Officials to Defend NAFTA

Cheryl Sanders
May 19, 2017

The letter gives Canada and Mexico a 90-day notice before the negotiations could begin.

Companies no longer fear the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will collapse and top US multinationals in Mexico are committed to investing in the country going forward, the head of a global business lobby said on Wednesday.

During the 2016 US election campaign, Trump vowed to scrap the 1994 deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico if he can not adjust it to benefit USA interests.

There was a faction within the White House, probably led by Mr Bannon and involving Peter Navarro who now heads his Trade and Industry Office in the White House, was encouraging the President to rescind the North American Free Trade Agreement but there was pushback from within the White House.

Discussing the effect of currency valuations during Nafta negotiations is "a model statute that could be applicable generally", said Wyden, relaying what he heard from Lighthizer. Somebody needs to tell the president to bite his lip next time he thinks it would be wise to renegotiate NAFTA.

Addressing currency manipulation became a principal US negotiating objective of trade agreements as part of a trade promotion bill passed in 2015.

She reiterated the government's key message on NAFTA - that it is in fact a good deal for all parties, including the USA, where nine million American jobs are dependent on it.

Reports this week suggest renegotiation of NAFTA could get underway as early as mid-August. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said talks will provide an opportunity to "align Nafta to new realities", while her Mexican counterpart Luis Videgaray said the three countries can reshape Nafta "under a win-win framework".

Heitkamp touched on how fully liberalized sugar trade between the USA and Mexico has hurt North Dakota farmers and workers in the sugar industry.

Arguing the accord has destroyed, Trump has menaced multinationals manufacturing in Mexico with punitive tariffs, and his threats to quit NAFTA.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday they "made a lot of progress in getting toward the 90-day letter, ' The Hill reported". The president is still facing backlash over his firing of FBI director James Comey, as well as fallout from a memo Comey wrote in which he said Trump tried to shut down an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In March, the administration circulated an eight-page draft letter on NAFTA that disappointed critics by appearing to keep much of the existing trade agreement in place. The two-page letter offers few details about what changes the administration would seek.

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