Trump administration triggers launch of NAFTA renegotiations


"There is nothing wrong with modernizing a 23-year-old agreement, but that must be done in a way that benefits the food and agriculture sectors in both countries", Scott says. "All of this combined accounts for thousands of Nebraska jobs", Ricketts said.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will send the long-delayed formal notice to Congress that the administration plans to reopen NAFTA on Thursday, the publication said.

The trade groups acknowledged the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be "updated to reflect today's business reality and better prepare for future trade patterns".

The Trade Promotion Authority legislation defines unfair currency practices as "protracted large scale intervention in one direction in the exchange market and a persistently undervalued foreign exchange rate to gain an unfair competitive advantage in trade", according to a report by the Congressional Research Service. But NAFTA has been a huge boon to USA farmers and farm economies. Mexico is the largest market for US corn.

Thanks to NAFTA, Mexico is the top importer of US -grown corn. The United States also exported 1.9 million tonnes of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a byproduct of ethanol. "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. As far as Nebraska is concerned, NAFTA isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. Under the agreement, the USGC said USA agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled and quintupled, respectively.

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Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Finance Committee, said on Thursday he was confident the administration and Congress could strengthen the trade deal and preserve partnerships with Canada and Mexico.

The administration must submit more detailed negotiating objectives 30 days before the start of the talks about the North American Free Trade Agreement.

On the Canadian grain grading standards, Heitkamp pointed out the problems USA farmers have in trying to sell their grain into Canada.

"The U.S. Grains Council has worked for more than 35 years in Mexico to help local feed and livestock industries expand their production of meat, milk and eggs and to build the relationships that are the foundation for our strong, interdependent trade relationship", said Sleight.

The other OH senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, is pressing Trump officials to tilt the 23-year-old trade pact more toward workers' priorities, including by adding "Buy American" provisions and scrapping an arbitration system that allows investors in one country to challenge governments from another.