(Via ABC News)
The White House has formally told Congress that the Trump administration plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, starting a countdown clock until talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico can begin in August.
“NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not. Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards,” reads a letter from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to Congressional leadership on Thursday. “I am pleased to notify the Congress that the President intends to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”
The letter begins a 90-day window before beginning formal negotiations as early as August 16.
“The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities under NAFTA,” the letter reads.
Trump made criticism of NAFTA a staple of his presidential campaign last year, asserting that the United States was at a disadvantage in trade with its northern and southern neighbors. Trump blamed lopsided trade relationships around the globe for the loss of manufacturing jobs and lackluster economic growth.