Trump Says US Will "Probably" End Up Terminating NAFTA

Pres. Trump is now warning he may abandon NAFTA entirely if renegotiation efforts fail

Pres. Trump is now warning he may abandon NAFTA entirely if renegotiation efforts fail

The first round of negotiations aimed at renewing the North American Free Trade Agreement concluded Sunday.

Either way, the office of the USTR has started putting together a proposal that would let the USA withdraw from a corporate arbitration system that's part of NAFTA, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall", Trump said at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday evening.

Even vehicles assembled in the U.S. could cost substantially more under the Trump plan
Even vehicles assembled in the U.S. could cost substantially more under the Trump plan

They emphasized looking at the modern economy, specifically the internet, which was in its infancy when NAFTA went into effect in 1994.

Trump has long made public his belief that NAFTA is harmful for American workers and that he would not hesitate to pull the plug on the deal if significant changes were not implemented.

Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs at JBS USA, a leading producer of beef and pork products based in Greeley, Colo., said food and agriculture exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled from $11 billion in 1993 to $43 billion in 2016. "There's no need to abandon an agreement that has led to increased trade and relationships, but we would all benefit from an update". The agricultural leaders also sent a joint letter to their respective countries, reiterating calls that NAFTA renegotiations should aim to modernize the agreement rather than to dismantle it.

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The first round of talks began last week, continued through the weekend, and featured the attendance and heavy involvement of Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

"It's hard to imagine how they can do something very substantive and do it very quickly".

The threats highlight the added dimension, however, of renegotiating a trade agreement with a disillusioned partner: you might end up having to decide on a deal that disproportionately favours your counterpart or even leaves you worse off.

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"Trump had said from early days that he would end the NAFTA agreement if he couldn't get more beneficial terms for the USA, and reminding the audience of that he added, "...but we're going to see what happens". Prior to that, he has called it the "worst trade deal in the history of the world", blaming it for America's huge trade deficit, the exodus of USA manufacturing firms and substantial job losses. "Texas benefits from the fact that we're the number one exporting state in the nation, and NAFTA has been an important part of that", Cornyn said during a visit to Austin. Lighthizer's opening statement also demanded "effective provisions to guard against currency manipulation".

"He's negotiating in his own particular style", Videgaray told a local TV station.

Canada is the No. 2 destination for California agricultural exports and the top customer for US farm exports; Mexico ranks fifth for the state and third for the nation.

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For soybeans, about 45 percent of the US crop is exported on average and Mexico is one of the major markets along with China.

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