Domingo, 25 Junio, 2017

Trump triggers trade renegotiations with Canada and Mexico

US Canada Trump administration writes Congress to officially trigger NAFTA renegotiation
Manuel Armenta | 19 May, 2017, 23:23

The letter kicks off a required 90-day consultation period for the Trump administration, after which the president will be permitted to begin meeting with Canada and Mexico about rewriting the 23-year-old trade deal.

The US plans to start talks with Mexico and Canada over Nafta "as soon as practicable", the Trump administration said on Thursday.

"The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving USA opportunities under NAFTA", he said. It proposes "modernization" of the agreement, with new provisions on digital trade, intellectual-property rights, labor and environmental standards, regulatory measures and so on.

Renegotiation of Nafta was a key campaign promise of American president Donald Trump, who frequently said the 23-year-old trade pact was a "disaster" that has drained USA factories and well-paid manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in a statement, blamed NAFTA for the downturn in us manufacturing and promised that President Donald Trump would turn that around.

"We look forward to working with the administration to strengthen the agreement in a seamless way and ensure that we retain the current benefits for American workers, farmers and businesses", said Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Trump frequently criticized NAFTA during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has voiced a preference for bilateral trade talks as the best way for the U.S.to exact a good deal from a trading partner. It has been confirmed negotiations will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017. "Canada economic relationship is the gold standard of global commerce, really evolving into a post trade status within which we make things together and enhance one another's competitiveness with the rest of the world", he said.

As the administration took its first formal step towards Nafta renegotiations, the US Commerce Department launched an investigation on Thursday into Boeing's anti-dumping claims against Canadian rival Bombardier's new CSeries jetliners, drawing a threat from Canada to review a deal to buy Boeing fighter jets. Last month, White House aides spread word that President Trump was ready to pull out of the agreement.

"Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards".

In recent speeches, Donohue has said that 14 million American jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico and that the first objective of the administration should be to "do no harm". Lighthizer said he did not think a new threat to withdraw from Nafta would be necessary.

"NAFTA has helped to boost the global competitiveness of the USA auto industry sector and we support modernizing the agreement in ways that will further strengthen North America as a manufacturing powerhouse, stimulate economic growth and drive job creation", American Automotive Policy Council Inc.

But the trade measures return him to one of his successful campaign themes, which struck a chord among some voters, who have seen United States companies turn to cheaper, overseas workers for jobs once done at home.

Trump announced the United States' intention to engage in negotiations related to NAFTA on February 2. "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".

"Mexico reaffirms its willingness to update NAFTA to face the challenges of the twenty-first century", it said. Barely two pages long, it sticks to fairly general statements, such as improving "US opportunities under Nafta" and modernizing the trade agreement, which took effect in 1994.

Mexico said Thursday that it welcomes the opportunity to renegotiate NAFTA.