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North American Trade Reps Start Talks on NAFTA Overhaul

25 August 2017

Overall, corn and corn products today account for more than 30 percent of USA farmer income, according to the National Corn Growers Association. "I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination but we're going to see what happens", he added. Lighthizer has appeared before the Ways and Means Committee at multiple hearings and meetings recently, and each time he has made clear how well he understands the importance of NAFTA to US agriculture.

What is NAFTA trade treaty?

Adam Austen, a Canadian government spokesman, emphasized the strong economic ties between the two nations: 9 million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada. "Mexico and Canada are trusted trade partners to the USA, and, as a result, we are strong national security partners".

The Trump administration did not push for a NAFTA renegotiation because it wanted to create a modernized NAFTA 2.0 that benefits all sides.

"NAFTA has been good for the US, good for the American worker and good for our country's economy", said Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of", Trump said during the Arizona rally. Exports of goods to Mexico and Canada have more than tripled, from $142 billion to $517 billion. With TPP off the table, Wenger said, the NAFTA renegotiation may be the best vehicle to "fix some of the things that were going to be in TPP".

This past spring, when Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sat him down and explained how important access to the Mexican market is for American farmers and agribusinesses.

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Counter-protesters surrounded people leaving the rally, shouting "shame" at them and occasionally throwing plastic water bottles. On the other side, the message was resounding and clear: Boston will not tolerate white supremacist views and violence.

According to Trump, the deal which provides for tax-free trade between the three countries is taking vehicle plants and jobs away from the USA to low-wage Mexico.

The president's renewed threat Tuesday reignited such concerns.

Hours before Trump spoke, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley told reporters the administration was pursuing an aggressive schedule in the talks and that the ideal outcome would be an early agreement on modernizing the 1994 pact.

Initial talks to re-negotiate NAFTA between Mexico, the United States and Canada ended in Washington this weekend with no sign of a breakthrough, and further discussions are due in Mexico City in September. At meetings with local officials, Canadian ministers "travel armed with data on the precise dollar amount and number of jobs supported by Canadian firms and trade in that area", cultivating current and potential allies to push back against Trump's demands.

The loonie has rallied almost 7 percent since the start of the year, buoyed by a softer greenback and upbeat domestic economic data that prompted the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates for the first time in seven years last month. 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 worldwide markets and don't do any manipulation.

"All Texas leaders must understand that Texas benefits greatly from trade with Mexico", he said.

North American Trade Reps Start Talks on NAFTA Overhaul