Mexican foreign minister: 'We are ready' to rework NAFTA

Making good on a campaign promise, the Trump administration formally told Congress Thursday that it intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Last month, White House aides spread word that Trump was ready to pull out of NAFTA. The fruit and vegetable industry is highly dependent on worldwide trade, both exports from the United States and imports from critical trading partners such as Mexico and Canada. The impact on some vulnerable USA industries was delayed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland emphasized Thursday that the three-month notice period is an anticipated part of the US process, and Lighthizer gave Canada advance notice of his letter. Critics countered that low-wage competition from Mexico would wipe out American factory jobs. "Better for the people of Mexico, the people of the US and the people of Canada". The dairy groups have also continued to call for improving market access to Canada and tackling that country's expanding list of protectionist policies and other barriers to US dairy exports. That created a trade deficit in goods of more than $63 billion.

"In reality, NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters", the agency said in its analysis. But the trade gap has widened partly because American consumers are eager to buy relatively low-cost cars and other goods from Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers.

A report released by the Congressional Research Service found that NAFTA's impact on the us economy "appears to have been relatively modest". And trade with Mexico is a smaller portion still.

USTR noted that Trump announced the U.S.'s intention to engage in negotiations related to NAFTA on February 2, and that since then, USTR has begun consultations with committees of jurisdiction in Congress and advisory committees.

"We have to be careful not to lose what we gained ..."

Canada and Mexico supported TPP, and so they might be open to renegotiating Nafta in that way.

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On Thursday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to lawmakers, giving Congress a 90-day consultation period before renegotiations are initiated on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The two-page letter offered few details about what changes the administration would seek in the negotiations.

In particular, we note that NAFTA was negotiated over 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not.

It adds "effective implementation and aggressive enforcement" as priorities. "Mexico reaffirms its willingness to update NAFTA".

Though manufacturing has dominated much of the discussion about NAFTA, U.S. agriculture has a huge stake, too.

But U.S. and other companies have built complicated supply chains that span the U.S. -Mexico border. After that, it will be tricky for Mexico to continue negotiations because the new president doesn't take office until December 1, Antonio Ortiz-Mena, who formerly served as the Mexican Embassy's top economic affairs official in Washington, noted.

The United States is under considerable pressure to wrap up the negotiations quickly.

"We urge you not to jeopardize the success of the men, women and families engaged in the cattle and beef industries of each of our countries, who depend on the success that market access provides under NAFTA", leaders of major cattle-ranching groups in the U.S., Mexico and Canada said in a joint letter to Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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