Trump trade officials prefer tri-lateral NAFTA deal: US senators

May 17, 2017, 12:51
Trump trade officials prefer tri-lateral NAFTA deal: US senators

President Donald Trump had been tossing around the idea of exiting the North America Free Trade Agreement before deciding to re-think and re-negotiate.

The move, which will start a 90-day countdown for talks, would be a step towards fulfilling a campaign promise by Trump who vowed to scrap the 1994 deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico if he can not adjust it to benefit USA interests. "We welcome Mr. Lighthizer' s confirmation because of his grasp of global trade rules and understanding of the importance of balanced trade agreements to the USA dairy sector", said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.

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"A timeline has not been determined" for the renegotiation, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative, Emily Davis, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

In Washington, Ross declined to predict the exact timing of the notification, saying that there were more consultations with Congress needed first.

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The concern came as the Trump administration is anticipated to kick off official steps to renegotiate the free trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. sugar lobby wants Mexico to export less refined sugar and has become emboldened since Trump took office.

Late last month President Trump signed an executive order that required the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the USTR, in consultation with several federal agencies, to "conduct comprehensive performance reviews" of all of the U.S. free trade agreements and "renegotiate or terminate" policies that the Administration believes are harmful to the United States.

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Separately, Ross said last month that Washington was imposing duties of up to 24 percent on Canadian lumber used in construction after the two countries failed to reach an agreement in the 35-year-old dispute over charges that Ottawa subsidizes the industry.

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