Trump administration releases list of general NAFTA goals

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 18, 2017

Among the objectives Lighthizer outlined are reducing the United States trade deficit with NAFTA countries, maintaining reciprocal duty-free market access for industrial goods, and ensuring transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of regulations.

The document said the USA would "through an appropriate mechanism, ensure that the NAFTA countries avoid manipulating exchange rates in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustments or to gain an unfair competitive advantage".

The Trump administration is calling on Canada and Mexico to avoid manipulating exchange rates as part of a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

While Canada and Mexico are not considered currency manipulators, the reference in the list of objectives could set a template for future trade deals such as a pending negotiation to modify a five-year-old U.S. As Reuters notes, neither Canada or Mexico is now on a U.S. Treasury "watch list" for possible currency manipulation.

Among the priorities, Lighthizer said the administration would seek to eliminate a trade dispute mechanism that has largely prohibited the United States from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases against Canadian and Mexican firms.

USTR said it would seek to strengthen NAFTA's rules of origin to ensure that the pact's benefits do not go to outside countries and to "incentivize" the sourcing of US goods.

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"The new NAFTA must continue to break down barriers to American exports". It offered no details on such incentives and did not specify how much of a product's components must originate from within North America.

Doing so is a chief goal of President Donald Trump, who routinely said during the campaign that American workers are harmed by foreign trade deals.

The White House has declared this week "Made in America" week in an effort to highlight US -made products.

President Bill Clinton signed NAFTA in December 1993. "If it comes out that it is not a good deal, no deal is better than a bad deal", Trumka said.

NAFTA has quadrupled trade among the three countries, surpassing $1 trillion in 2015.

The United States has a $64 billion goods deficit with Mexico.

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