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Mexico private sector eyes more NAFTA content in future products

Mexico private sector eyes more NAFTA content in future products

Newly installed US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthi- zer formally notified Congress of the intent to revamp the 23-year- old pact with Canada and Mexico, which accounts for about US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) in annual trade. Lighthizer noted the deal has been a success for some USA industries, such as agriculture, investment services and energy.

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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said talks will provide an opportunity to "align NAFTA to new realities", while her Mexican counterpart Luis Videgaray said the three countries can reshape NAFTA "under a win-win framework". "Modest tweaks will not stop NAFTA's ongoing damage, much less deliver on (President Donald) Trump's promises for a deal that will create American jobs and raise wages", she says. Elaborating, Kalach said new products and materials in industries like carmaking and electrodomestic goods - sectors where Mexico runs a sizeable trade surplus with the United States - could be made with higher NAFTA content in the future.

Under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which Congress approved in June 2015 and which covers trade agreements reached before July 1, 2018, the administration is required to give lawmakers 90-days' notice prior to entering talks on a trade deal that would require changes in USA law needed to comply with the agreement.

During the campaign, Mr Trump vowed to withdraw from Nafta, saying it was a disaster for USA workers.

"Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards", he said.




The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of US dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. "And when you start messing with that, and it's been working over the years so we want to make sure we maintain what we have".

"In addition, US exports of pork, dairy, beef and poultry products to Mexico totaled almost $5 billion in value in 2016. At the same time, numerous opportunities exist to shore up open trade and further deepen it with our NAFTA partners, such as addressing Canada's tariff and nontariff constraints on dairy trade, instituting stronger SPS commitments and ensuring that geographical indications are not used to restrict the use of common names".

"With this first step, I now encourage the administration to swiftly commence modernization negotiations with our NAFTA partners and prioritize their quick conclusion", said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. Total U.S. food and agriculture exports to Mexico and Canada have grown from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015.

TK: The main objective of the Trump renegotiation of NAFTA should be to do no harm to ag exports.

Canada expressed support for NAFTA and said it is already prepared to negotiate.

Negotiations will enter a very sensitive environment. Democratic congressmen Richard Neal and Bill Pascrell Jr. said Lighthizer's NAFTA letter was lacking in specifics and didn't appear to be seeking the "fundamental reform" that Trump promised during the election.


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