Trump Says US Likely to Terminate NAFTA

27 August, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Trump’s shadow is looming large over NAFTA talks just a week into negotiations

American political analysts also note that it would be hard if not impossible for a president to unilaterally terminate the deal as the U.S. Congress is responsible for regulating trade. This was hotly debated in the context of the Trans Pacific Partnership but is totally meaningless in terms of a trade deal with Canada and Mexico - both of whom (like the United States) float their currencies on global markets and don't do any manipulation.

Canadian and Mexican officials seem to be taking a ho-hum approach to Donald Trump's comment that he'll probably kill NAFTA.

"President Trump has been clear from the very beginning that if the NAFTA renegotiation is unsuccessful, he will withdraw from the agreement", Lighthizer said in a statement issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

NAFTA erased most trade barriers separating the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Lighthizer said he wants provisions to protect against dumping of low-priced products and unfair competition from state-owned enterprises. "There is no doubt in my mind that a trade agreement that was negotiated twenty-some odd years ago can be updated". "We also encourage the government to hold the line on in keeping NAFTA's cultural exemption and our supply management program". The internet was still an obscure idea in its infancy and Mexico's energy sector was closed off from investment from the outside world.

He's put out videos featuring people and businesses that have benefited from the trade pact.

Last week, Texas Comptroller Glen Hegar said in a radio interview: "The biggest loser in tearing up NAFTA and throwing it in the trash really would be Texas, because we are an export state".

Negotiators are expected to head to Mexico City for the second round of talks from September 1 to 5, and to Canada for their third round in late September (reportedly September 23-27).

Most analysts and even the Mexican Foreign Minister, Luis Videgaray, are dismissing the comments as little more than a negotiating tactic.

However, he stressed that "that could have been done by President Trump, and yet what is happening is that we are formally negotiating, in an ambitious process that will last for months". "The U.S. should not allow protectionist elements in undermine a market opening made possible by NAFTA".

"Honestly, I don't know if that was just playing to the crowd or if he's honest about that", Bacus said.

Other business leaders were more critical. "Global markets can react positively or negatively depending on what the president says". Trump campaigned on a pledge to do away with NAFTA, which he blamed for the loss of US manufacturing jobs.

But Barela said some were still reluctant to impress upon the president the trade agreement's importance to the state's economy.

The former deputy trade czar under Barack Obama said it's an obvious move and he thinks the president made it too early.


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