The Trump administration released its objectives for NAFTA renegotiations Monday, as President Trump told U.S. manufacturers that he will work to have more goods made in America.
The White House is dubbing this week “Made in America” week and American-made products from all 50 states were at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, including rum from Hawaii and brooms from Indiana. The timing of the launch of the week is ideal due to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer releasing America’s goals in the NAFTA renegotiations.
A summary of the objectives included “improve the U.S. trade balance and reduce the trade deficit with the NAFTA countries,” “preserve the ability of the United States to enforce rigorously its trade laws,” and “increase opportunities for U.S. firms to sell U.S. products and services into the NAFTA countries.”
The U.S. had a $63 billion trade deficit with Mexico in 2016 and a $7.7 billion trade surplus with Canada.
“Too many Americans have been hurt by closed factories, exported jobs, and broken political promises,” Lighthizer said in a statement. The negotiations with Canada and Mexico, the other members of NAFTA, are set to begin as soon as August 16.
Trump’s speech at the White House continued his campaign message of building up American manufacturing.
“For decades, Washington has allowed other nations to wipe out millions of American jobs through unfair trade practices. Wait until you see what’s up for you. You are going to be so happy,” the president said. “This painful exodus of American jobs — and I’ve been talking about it for years — was also marked by a period of sluggish growth, falling incomes, surging welfare, and shrinking participation in the workforce. Clearly, it’s time for a new policy — one defined by two simple rules: We will buy American and we will hire American.”
On the economic front, the White House is currently working on passing health care reform, followed up by tax reform and then an infrastructure bill. President Trump has also repealed many regulations and has taken a more aggressive stance on trade.
“Theodore Roosevelt declared in his first message to Congress that ‘reciprocity’ — my favorite word, reciprocity — because we have countries that charge us 100 percent tax on a product, and when that product is sold by them to us, we brilliantly charge them nothing,” Trump said at the White House. “And people say, oh, that’s free trade. No, that’s stupid trade. That’s really stupid trade.”