Freeland's 'battle-scarred' team capable of tackling NAFTA renegotiations: Trade lawyer

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Shortly after informing Congress that he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday requested a new investigation examining what would happen if the agreement were changed to further liberalize trade in certain agricultural goods. While the USA goal of reaching a new deal this year is ambitious, it's not unrealistic if it doesn't seek to radically change NAFTA, said Cutler, who served as senior US negotiator on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

NPPC committed to work with the administration to preserve tariff-free market access for USA pork exports to Canada and Mexico, which a year ago were almost $799 million and nearly $1.4 billion, respectively. Kalach said after Thursday's announcements it was still unclear exactly what the United States would seek in the renegotiation. "As the Administration and Congress reexamine our nation's trade deals, we urge them to work with industry partners to understand the impacts trade barriers or increased tariffs will have on restaurants, consumers, and our economy". The fruit and vegetable industry is highly dependent on global trade, both exports from the United States and imports from critical trading partners such as Mexico and Canada. He added that he hopes to complete negotiations by the end of this year.

The NAFTA trade agreement is between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

America's NAFTA partners welcomed the strategy of modernizing rather than scrapping the trade pact.

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Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said today that the country will not accept taxes or quotas in a renegotiated NAFTA, Reuters reports. Mexico and Canada are two of our largest export markets for the commodities and products raised on US farms and ranches.

"Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards", he said. "Our integrated economies and supply chains support millions of jobs across the continent", she said. The dairy groups have also continued to call for improving market access to Canada and tackling that country's expanding list of protectionist policies and other barriers to US dairy exports. While U.S. politicians have called the tax an unfair subsidy, Mexico argues the system is in line with worldwide trade rules. "For years, politicians have called for the renegotiation of this agreement, but President Trump is the first to follow through with that promise", Lighthizer said in the release. "You would strand a lot of US company investments".

However, according to Wallach, Trump invited the 500 corporate trade advisers who helped shape the TPP to the late March NAFTA meeting, while labor was shut out. "You can't whack Mexican exports without whacking USA exports". "We have to wait and see how things unfold once we get to the negotiating table". Democratic congressmen Richard Neal and Bill Pascrell Jr. said Lighthizer's NAFTA letter was lacking in specifics and didn't appear to be seeking the "fundamental reform" that Trump promised during the election.

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