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Trump administration readies NAFTA renegotiation


Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement could begin in mid-August.

The letter stated the administration a new agreement to "support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the US economy by improving USA opportunities under NAFTA". The treaty needs to be updated to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, and environmental issues.

Lighthizer said reforming the trade agreement, which Trump vowed to scrap altogether during his presidential campaign, fulfills a key promise to voters.

"Since the signing of Nafta, we have seen our manufacturing industry decimated, factories shuttered, and countless workers left jobless.", he said. "But there's just no track record (with the Trump administration) on how it will turn out", says John Weinand, a Hazen, N.D., farmer and president of the state Grain Growers Association.

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Field conditions are mixed across the heart of the Corn Belt. "There shouldn't be that much corn to be planted by the weekend". The funds' new net position in soybeans stands at 34,335 contracts on the short side, compared with 47,667 in the week prior.

In March, the administration circulated an eight-page draft letter on NAFTA that disappointed critics by appearing to keep much of the existing trade agreement in place.

"This agreement was negotiated almost 25 years ago, and the economies of all three countries have changed considerably in that time", Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty said in a news release. Mexico is the No. 3 market for USA agriculture, notably corn, soybeans and pork.

National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock urged Lighthizer to remember the interests of US agriculture as they begin modernizing the agreement. Lighthizer says that NAFTA could be renegotiated by the end of the year.

Shortly after Lighthizer's appointment, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said she expected Lighthizer would spend "a bit of time" in consultations before formally triggering the 90-day countdown.

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The announcement came as Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray was meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington.

"With this letter, we intend to notify not just Congress, but all our trading partners, that free and fair trade is the new standard for USA trade deals", Ross said in the statement. The United States sent $20.5 billion in food products to Canada in 2016, making it America's second-largest ag export market. "We support modernizing the agreement in ways that will further strengthen North America as a manufacturing powerhouse, stimulate economic growth and drive job creation", said American Automotive Policy Council President Matt Blunt in a statement.

Freeland was asked about perceived efforts by the U.S.to pit Canada and Mexico against each other in the lead-up to these talks.

"The Trump Administration understands that NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture", said Spurlock.

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There also has been some speculation that the United States would seek separate deals with Canada and Mexico, rather than retaining a three-country arrangement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation accord that was negotiated by the Obama administration and thrown overboard by Trump, took eight years to hash out, according to PIIE.

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