U.S. President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator came out of the gate sounding like he wants to fine-tune the North American Free Trade Agreement, not blow it up as some feared. "We are committed to working with the Canadian Government on this issue and will strongly represent the interests of the produce industry during any renegotiation process", said Lemaire. As required under the Trade Promotion Authority, the USTR will publish objectives of the negotiations at least 30 days before the formal negotiations begin.
Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, described the letter as "disappointingly vague in many areas with respect to the results the Administration wants to achieve", and expressed hope that further details would be outlined soon by Lighthizer ahead of the final month of the consultation period. "With that said, NAFTA can be improved to incentivise more textile and apparel jobs and production in the United States, Canada, and Mexico", Tantillo added. "Moreover, establishing effective implementation and aggressive enforcement of the commitments made by our trading partners under our trade agreements is vital to the success of those agreements and should be improved in the context of NAFTA". Campaigning past year, Trump vowed to renegotiate NAFTA and pull out of it he couldn't get a better deal. "You would strand a lot of US company investments".
The future of NAFTA has been uncertain since Trump announced in November previous year that he would withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another trade deal that covers 12 nations. But Trump backed away from the threat after Canadian and Mexican officials urged Washington to renegotiate and modernize - rather than scrap - the trade pact, which has boosted industry and created tight manufacturing, agriculture and business links throughout the region. While U.S. politicians have called the tax an unfair subsidy, Mexico argues the system is in line with worldwide trade rules. "That's unacceptable. If we don't make things in America, we won't have a middle class in America". "As I have often said, if our people continue to grow it, USDA will be there to sell it".
"Let me be clear: NAFTA is vital to the prosperity of the United States textile industry, and NCTO steadfastly supports continuing the agreement", said NCTO president and CEO Auggie Tantillo.
Chip Councell, chairman of USGC. "Unlike Mexico, it does not enjoy a trade surplus with the US; while it sells more goods to the USA than it buys, a sizable services trade deficit with its southern neighbour brings the overall balance to -$11.9 billion in 2015".
Over the a year ago, we have seen increased scrutiny of our trading relationship.
Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was "steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region", noting that nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.
"Despite the risks, there's an opportunity here to get better trade rules in place that will set the gold standard for trade agreements going forward, without hurting wheat farmers and their importing customers", said David Schemm, NAWG president.