US Aims to Eliminate Subsidies, Restrictions When Renegotiating NAFTA


"Through the renegotiation of NAFTA, the Trump administration will seek a much better agreement that reduces the US trade deficit and is fair for all Americans by improving market access in Canada and Mexico for USA manufacturing, agriculture, and services", said USTR Robert Lighthizer in a statement on Monday.

And Washington will seek to add a chapter on the digital economy and call for the elimination of state enterprises' unfair trade practices, as well as "burdensome" restrictions on intellectual property.

The 17-page summary of negotiations for NAFTA offers a glimpse into what a Trump administration trade agenda could look like.

"President Trump continues to fulfill his promise to renegotiate NAFTA to get a much better deal for all Americans", Lighthizer said in an accompanying press statement.

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The USTR objectives also call for strengthening labor and environmental commitments that are now only part of NAFTA side agreements.

According to the statement, the United States had a deficit of 64 billion USA dollars with Mexico in 2016, compared to a surplus of 1.3 billion dollars in 1994 when NAFTA was implemented.

The USTR will also seek to create a mechanism to deter currency manipulation, according to the document.

It also plans to eliminate a range of non-tariff barriers to USA agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico.

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The publication of the U.S. Nafta negotiating objectives allows talks on a revisions of the 23-year-old pact to start in as little as a month. Negotiations are set to begin in August.

Trump's bark has largely been harsher than his bite on NAFTA since his inauguration, and concerns that he will take radical action on the agreement have waned, at least temporarily. The U.S. Commerce Department in June rolled out a new round of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.

The White House has declared this week "Made in America" week in an effort to highlight USA -made products. On Monday, Mr Trump was photographed seated in a red fire truck, as part of his administration's "Made In America" week showcasing American-made fire trucks, baseball bats and cowboy hats among other products. He said. "We're going to start doing that again".

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