A brief explainer on NAFTA after latest Trump bashing


08/22/2017The U.S., Mexico and Canada ended the first round of talks on a new North American Free Trade Agreement saying they're committed to wrapping up the negotiations quickly with a far-reaching deal.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of", Trump said during a rally in Arizona on Tuesday night.

"I personally don't think you can make a deal without a termination but we're going to see what happens, OK?"

In comments that initially pushed Mexico's peso currency down by more than 1 percent, Trump on Tuesday reiterated his threats to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray tweeted after Trump's comments: "No surprises: we're already in a negotiation".

"Under the President's direction, USTR has begun renegotiating NAFTA to seek substantial changes that address its fundamental failures and create fair trade policy that benefits all Americans".

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"So for all the criticisms of our trade deals, we in agriculture want our negotiators to know that trade deals and open markets are largely beneficial to American farmers and ranchers, and to the communities that we live in and do our business in and raise our families", he said.

Congress is responsible for regulating global trade under the US constitution, Dade noted.

Many legal scholars believe he can't, Dade added. The administration has vowed to make reducing the USA trade deficit with Canada and Mexico a priority in the renegotiations.

However, ending NAFTA would not be easy.

Trump's timing was more surprising than his comments.

Trump routinely blasts the three-nation pact and claims it has cost the USA millions of jobs and countless shuttered factories. For the US, farm exports to Canada and Mexico soared from $8.9 billion in 1993, before NAFTA implementation, to $38.1 billion in 2016, according to AFBF.

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Later today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address reporters in Quebec.

Those requests likely "won't have much impact", said Dade.

The Trump administration says Chapter 19 is not effective in resolving disputes about measures to counter subsidies.

For Mexico, a poorer nation, the consequences would be more serious - not to mention the fact that uncertainty about NAFTA is compounding investor nervousness about the country's upcoming national election in 2018, said Sands. He won't have to convey Trump's views to his counterparts: They can Google them.

Mexican officials seemed unaffected by Trump's threat to withdraw.

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