With Billions At Stake, Trump Agrees To Mend NAFTA - Not End It

Posted April 29, 2017

Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jeff Merkley of OR recently wrote to the president to demand that he exclude those government procurement jobs from NAFTA, so that only American companies can compete for public projects. In this case, threatening to withdraw would have amounted to a formal step that started the process of giving Mexico and Canada six months notice that Trump meant to start negotiating.

He revealed that talks about NAFTA would begin that day.

Instead, Trump said he will push hard on a renegotiation of the agreement.

Promising to address the issue in his first 100 days and actually governing are two different things, though.

The Journal reported that Trump received nearly back-to-back calls from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"They called me and they said, rather than terminating NAFTA, could you please renegotiate?" He went out of his way to bash the five-year-old free-trade deal between the United States and South Korea, irritating that ally at precisely the same time he needs Seoul's cooperation against North Korea. In order to renegotiate the trade deal, Trump must notify Congress.

On Feb. 13, Trump stood beside Trudeau in the White House's East Room and said he meant to make only small changes to NAFTA that focus on U.S. He declined to specify what Canada's demands would be in trade negotiations. In fact, it has been a generally, if modestly, positive force for growth and modernization in the U.S., Mexican and Canadian economies, whose diffuse benefits to Americans, in terms of expanded exports and lower prices for a wider range of goods, have been offset locally by job losses and other concentrated costs.

Meanwhile, Premier Christy Clark is looking to start a trade war on the lumber issue to save her political life.

It seemed that the Trump administration was planning to end the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday, after his aides sent word that they'd prepared such an executive order. In the early 90s, the United States used to enjoy a tiny trade surplus with its southern neighbor but by 2016 that had transformed into a deficit totaling $63 billion. John McCain of Arizona.

"The reality is the global supply chain is very complex, as it should be - we want to have an efficient and productive global production system", said James J. Angel, an associate professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. "Now, if I'm unable to make a fair deal, if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA". Canada followed by Mexico ranked as the two biggest markets for USA exports, taking in a combined 34 percent of the total in 2016, according to a February paper published by the Congressional Research Service.

In Mexico City, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said Pena Nieto had called Trump on Wednesday and spoken with him for about 20 minutes in a conversation focused exclusively on the looming talks over NAFTA's "renegotiation and modernization". We can not disrupt trade with two of our top trade partners and allies.

American Soybean Association President Ron Moore said, "When you're talking about $3 billion in soybean exports a year, any threats to withdraw from agreements and walk away from markets makes farmers extremely nervous".

As for US imports from Canada, a sizable chunk (more than $100-billion by the most recent figures) comes in the form of energy.