Trump administration launches NAFTA renegotiation process

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In a statement, talks will begin no earlier than August 16, 2017.

Lighthizer's letter said the White House is looking to improve "U.S. opportunities" under NAFTA, adding that many chapters of the trade accord are "outdated and do not reflect modern standards".

It's not clear exactly what the U.S.is seeking to change in the deal, though in his letter, Lighthizer said the Trump administration wants to see new provisions "to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanity and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises". "Modest tweaks will not stop NAFTA's ongoing damage, much less deliver on (President Donald) Trump's promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages", she says.

"We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for USA consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers, consistent with USA priorities and the negotiating objectives established by the Congress in statute", Lighthizer said in the letter.

He says the USA manufacturing industry has been decimated by NAFTA, a deal the White House considers deeply unfair. But he said he changed his mind after speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

In the letter to Congress, Lighthizer expresses the Trump administration's commitment to concluding the negotiations with timely and substantive results for US consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers.

"We understand that this is a 25-year-old agreement", he said. The letter also provides specifics about what the USA wants to discuss during the negotiations.

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Wynne said she will continue to travel to the U.S.to meet with governors, legislators and businesses in states that have strong trading partnerships with Ontario.

NAFTA Chapter 19's ad hoc binational panels now replace independent USA court review of US countervailing (anti-subsidy) duties (CVD) and antidumping duties (AD) imposed to offset the harm from unfair trade, thus handing over the U.S.'s sovereign right to implement its laws to panels which are partially made up of foreign nationals, who may represent their own national and professional interests.

The Mexican government said Thursday says it "welcomes" the opportunity to renegotiate NAFTA.

However, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the vague NAFTA letter is a stark contrast with the aggressive promises Trump made during his presidential campaign.

"The government of Mexico welcomes this development", Videgaray said at a news conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other Mexican and US officials at the State Department. Ross stressed that the emphasis should be on "free and fair trade." said in a statement Thursday.

The three countries have already sorted out a key issue, which is that future talks will be held on a trilateral basis. After that, talks with Canada and Mexico can begin.

In his remarks Thursday morning, Lighthizer noted that the deal was negotiated more than 23 years ago and was in need of updates.

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