President Donald Trump announced a major breakthrough in his ongoing effort to negotiate a new North American Free Trade Agreement Monday.
A big deal looking good with Mexico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018
The new agreement includes the U.S. and Mexico with negotiations with Canada set to begin Monday. U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer told a small group of reporters he hopes to send a letter to Congress on the agreement by the end of the week, though cautioned that the letter could include provisions to add Canada in at a later date if an agreement cannot be immediately reached.
“It’s a big day for trade. It’s a big day for our country,” Trump announced from the Oval Office. Lighthizer told reporters the new deal will include a framework to resolve disputes within it by binding parties for 16 years with a period of review every 6 years. The 6 year review periods allow for periodic dispute resolve.
Trump was joined in his Oval Office address with the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto by phone. ” I am quite hopeful that now Canada will start working with the United States. With a sensitive bilateral issue issue,” he said.
The U.S. trade representative further explained Trump’s comments that NAFTA as it is currently known is being “terminated” saying that the U.S. cannot be a party to two agreements at one time. Lighthizer noted that the national security 232 tariffs currently leveled on Mexico will not be lifted under the new agreement.
Lighthizer and Trump both touted the provisions within the agreement which benefit U.S. autoworkers including parts of the agreement which require certain parts of automobiles to be made in the U.S.