nsucurrent.com April 25, 2018

Trump May Trigger Countdown To NAFTA Renegotiation Next Week

17 May 2017, 12:50 | Ruby West

Congresswoman Noem agrees with decision to renegotiate NAFTA

GE backs NAFTA and voices support for Mexico

U.S. Senator, Joni Ernst, joined several other senators Monday in signing a letter to U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, stressing the positive economic impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the administration considers taking a fresh look at the agreement.

Vice President Mike Pence is calling Lighthizer "uniquely qualified" for the job and says he'll help ensure the nation's trade deals benefit the American people.

President Trump was presented with a similar data point before he tacked away from a decision to "terminate" the North American Free Trade Agreement. "By expanding export market access through negotiating good trade deals and enforcing USA trade laws, we can raise wages and help level the playing field for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and job-creators".

A long congressional delay that held up his nomination ended last week, setting the stage for the launch of NAFTA negotiations.

First stop in their official Capitol discussions is a closed-door meeting with the Senate Finance Committee.

Press reports also speculate the official notification letter could be finalised and sent to Congress this week or next. During this time frame, the USTR is required by law to publish objectives for the negotiations at least 30 days before formal trade negotiations begin.

Lighthizer is a well-known sceptic of NAFTA.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he expects Trump to notify Congress of a 90-day countdown to NAFTA renegotiation talks next week, but US officials have not officially released a timeline.

"Given these circumstances, granting the Trump Administration additional legal powers through your confirmation without understanding how you or the Administration intend to use those powers would be irresponsible". According to the Washington Post, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross showed the president a map indicating areas of the United States that would be harmed by the collapse of NAFTA, including many that are home to the president's core supporters.

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