New NAFTA talks begin in Washington

Effigy of Donald Trump

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is off to a rocky start.

"We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement", Lighthizer, the USA trade representative, said at the start of the talks, which reflected Trump's relentless criticism that NAFTA has caused massive job losses in the USA manufacturing industry. The agreement has also led to a steady flow of lost jobs for American workers to Mexico, he said. "We can not ignore the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the businesses that have closed or moved because of incentives - intended or not - in the current agreement", he said. Prior to the signing of NAFTA in 1994, the USA ran a small trade surplus with Mexico.

Lighthizer acknowledged that many Americans, particularly in farming and those living in border communities, have benefited from NAFTA and that it was paramount to maintain those interests. Rules of origin, particularly on autos and auto parts, must require higher NAFTA content and substantial USA content.

In remarks Monday, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland appeared to take a tough stance as she briefly outlined Canada's main goals - including adding new provisions to protect the environment and the rights of workers, women and indigenous people, as well as preserving a mechanism for settling disputes that some USA industries have opposed.

Trade deficits, however, are likely to remain at the heart of the negotiations. He said the goal of the negotiators should be to improve the agreement to make sure "at the end of the day, we are part of the solution and not part of the problem". Canada's objectives, she noted, include modernizing NAFTA and using the negotiations to cut red tape and improve standards on labor and the environment, which were only side agreements in the original pact.




Mexico's secretary of economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, spoke more briefly and took a more defensive posture.

The United States is renegotiating NAFTA under a legal provision known as Trade Promotion Authority, which allows US negotiators to submit the agreement's final text to Congress for a simple up or down vote, rather than voting on every provision of the deal.

But Canada and Mexico may have some leverage because the two countries are still signed on to the Trans Pacific Partnership while the Trump administration has pulled out, Dade says. "Just as farmers have new tools and technology for food and fiber production, we believe that an updated NAFTA agreement can help the three nations become even stronger trading partners", AFBF President Zippy Duvall said.

Information for this article was contributed by Don Lee of the Los Angeles Times and Andrew Mayeda and Eric Martin of Bloomberg News.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. amps up Cyber Command to combat cyberspace threats
Aug 19, 2017 - 02:57
Carter added that Cyber Command "was devised specifically to make the United States proficient and powerful in this tool of war". The decision by Trump signals a recognition of the increasing importance of cyberspace operations to the American military.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Attack from North Korea not imminent
Aug 18, 2017 - 00:24
The White House said in a statement that Trump and Xi "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior". He also will discuss military options in the event the "diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign" fails.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple Is Going Shopping For Original Content With $1B To Spend
Aug 18, 2017 - 00:23
This comes as it seeks to double revenue by 2020 from its services business including Apple Music and App Store. These pitch meetings have placed Apple in direct competition with Netflix , HBO and other distributors.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Justin Bieber reveals new BloodPop collaboration 'Friends'
Aug 18, 2017 - 00:23
Michael Tucker) co-produced " Friends " with Skrillex, while " Sorry " co-writer Julia Michaels returned for this new, upbeat number.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Get Ready to Raid Mewtew Soon
Aug 18, 2017 - 00:20
Invitations will include the date and location, allowing them to plan with other players before fighting the Raid Boss. At the Pokemon GO Stadium event in Yokohama Japan , Mewtwo has been released as a Raid Boss for Stadium attendees.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top BMW Z4 Concept reveals design direction for brand's next roadster
Aug 18, 2017 - 00:18
The sleek roadster takes on from the tremendously successful 8 series concept design that was stylistically as sharp and dynamic. While the current Z4 has top-to-bottom two-tone finishes, this one has left-to-right, signaling a more driver-focused design.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dominion Energy Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:DM) Shares Dip Under Moving Averages
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:43
Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its position in shares of EnLink Midstream Partners, by 0.8% in the first quarter. The Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc holds 51,537 shares with $1.52 million value, up from 37,800 last quarter.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top LeT commander Lelhari killed in Pulwama encounter
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:42
Lelhari is the second major Lashkar operative killed in South Kashmir within the past fortnight. The deceased was identified as Constable Reyaz Ahmad.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mike Thomas talks about his son Justin's first major championship
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:39
Thomas earned his maiden major in his very next opportunity, leaving the field in his wake Sunday at Quail Hollow Club. However, it would have been much easier to accept the loss if Thomas failed to win the PGA Championship .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top CBO: Deficit would spike, premiums would rise if Trump ends Obamacare subsidies
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:39
Further, Republicans are reportedly planning to move on from health care to tax reform when they return from recess. The panel will begin hearings on stabilizing the marketplace the first week of September.

Theresa May drafts new plans to exit the EU
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:39
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, slammed the proposal on the customs union calling it "a fantasy". Hauliers working in the Irish border area have been reacting to the UK Government's new proposals for the future post-Brexit.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UF Denies White Nationalist Request To Speak
Aug 17, 2017 - 07:33
Kent Fuchs called the events in Virginia "deplorable" but indicated school officials might be unable to block his appearance. The so-called alt-right is a fringe movement that has been described as a mix of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Everyone enjoyed Joe Hart's cheeky explanation for his black eye
Aug 16, 2017 - 15:15
West Ham United defender Winston Reid has admitted that himself and his teammates will "put in a much better performance" when they travel to Southampton on Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Nikolaj Coster-Waldau tells us what Jaime thinks about Cersei's big news
Aug 16, 2017 - 15:09
In the preview of the sixth episode, The Blood of the Dragon, we finally find them confronting the White Walkers . That would be uncommonly grotesque even for Game of Thrones , but it would certainly be an unexpected plot twist.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Economy grows annualized 4.0% in April-June period
Aug 16, 2017 - 15:07
The second quarter growth blew past market expectations for a 0.6 percent rise, according to figures from the Cabinet Office. Private consumption increased by 0.9 %, more than double the rise of 0.4% in Q1.