The first round of NAFTA renegotiations between the United States, Mexico, and Canada will begin next month in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations Wednesday and they will be held between August 16 and August 20. This is the earliest possible day for them to start allowed by law. President Trump has been a long time critic of NAFTA, which went into effect in 1994, and recently dubbed it the “worst trade deal in history.”
The U.S. had a $55.6 billion trade deficit with Mexico and a $12.5 billion trade surplus with Canada in 2016. Lighthizer released his objectives for the NAFTA renegotiations on Monday, and these 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.”
“USTR Lighthizer’s swift actions are reflective of the priority the president has put on negotiating this deal so it is better for America’s workers, farmers, and manufacturers,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Wednesday’s press briefing.