US President Donald Trump has formally triggered the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Overall the trade deal's effects on the USA economy have been minimal, according to a report put out by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service in February.
President Trump has called it a disaster and others say America has seen a significant boost in trade.
During the campaign, Trump vowed to scrap NAFTA altogether, saying it was a disaster for United States workers. "As the renegotiation process begins, we encourage the Trump administration to seize this opportunity to work together with Canada and Mexico to support strong and enforceable currency manipulation disciplines in trade agreements and encourage the global acceptance of vehicles built to USA auto safety standards". NAFTA took on a starring role during the election campaign past year, with Trump promising voters to either throw it out or renegotiate a deal he claims sent millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico.
Last month, White House aides indicated he was ready to pull out of the agreement, but within hours, the president reversed course, saying he'd seek a better deal first. He promised a very aggressive negotiating schedule to conclude the talks as quickly as possible. The Mexican official said he welcomed the opportunity to update the agreement, but insisted it must remain trilateral.
"While every partnership has disagreements to occasionally be resolved, the U.S". We have learned a lot and we can make it better.
"I look forward working with the president, Ambassador Lighthizer, and our counterparts from Mexico and Canada to find a solution that is both fair and beneficial for all parties".
Wheat farmers also want to protect the gains they've made under the trade deal.
Business and government leaders in Arizona will watch the negotiations closely for what they can do to trade with Mexico, the state's biggest economic partner.
On a scale of one to 10, though, we're still in the early days.
In the letter to Congress, Lighthizer expresses the Trump administration's commitment to concluding the negotiations with timely and substantive results for USA consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers. "Obviously, dairy trade with Canada - where we continue to face 200%-300% tariffs and a slew of nontariff policies that distort dairy trade - is an entirely different story, and we need to address it as part of these talks". Canada and Mexico are the two largest destinations for U.S. goods and services, accounting for more than one-third of total U.S. exports, adding $80 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 3 million American jobs, according to data from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.