In a statement issued this morning, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress specifics on how the Trump Administration intends to renegotiate NAFTA.
“As I said when I was sworn in three days ago, I believe the President’s leadership on trade will permanently reverse the dangerous trajectory of American trade,” he said. “Changing that trajectory is why we’re here today.”
In a letter addressed to Chuck Schumer, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, Lighthizer stressed the need to modernize the 25-year-old trade agreement.
“For example, digital trade was in its infancy when NAFTA was enacted,” the letter notes. “In addition, and consistent with the negotiating objectives in the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, our aim is that NAFTA be modernized to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.”
The administration intends to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico “as soon as practicable, but no earlier than 90 days from the date of this notice,” according to Lighthizer.
This developing story will be receive updates as it continues to unfold.