Mexico minister queries United States talk on cutting NAFTA trade deficits

The United States on Monday said it would work to shrink trade deficits with Canada and Mexico in talks to renegotiate the landmark 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That leaves the administration plenty of flexibility for the talks, but also could fuel worries among labor groups and some lawmakers that Mr. Trump won't follow through with campaign vows to reshape US trade policy. It calls for more opportunities for American suppliers for government procurement overseas, such as construction projects, but in the next breath, it insists on preserving Buy American rules that limit such rights for foreigners.

The renegotiation is expected to begin as early as August 16, said the statement.

The United States government is set to lay out its official objectives for NAFTA renegotiations as early as Monday.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she plans to continue standing up for her province's interests.

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"They want access to the Canadian market".

The US Trade Representative said that when NAFTA talks begin next month, Washington also will seek to lower trade barriers for produce and industrial goods - while eliminating subsidies US officials say are unfair in trade with the two neighboring nations.

According to Monday's set to objectives, the Trump administration will take aim at reducing US trade deficits.

The US has a $12.5 billion goods and services surplus with Canada.

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The 17-page document the administration sent to Congress echoes Trump's tough talk on trade by making the reduction of the US trade deficit with its neighbors its top priority. -Canada relationship. Such a move could result in a lot more tit-for-tat trade actions and potentially disrupt business between the countries. As research by Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shows, 9.2 percent of USA imports from China are covered by these duties, compared with 2.7 percent of imports from the rest of the world, and only 1.3 percent of US imports from NAFTA countries. "Plenty were anxious Trump would blow up NAFTA and today's document is the clearest sign they're moving in a more conventional direction".

With the Republican health care bill moribund in the Senate, President Donald Trump is turning his eye to trade negotiations with Mexico and Canada to fulfill a major campaign pledge to even out trade deficits with other countries. A majority in Congress would need to approve a reworked trade deal. Only last week, Trudeau spoke to a group of governors assembled in Providence, Rhode Island and said the employment of 9 million American workers is directly dependent on trade with Canada.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with Canada was $12.1 billion in 2016 while the USA services trade surplus was $24.6 billion a year ago.

"We believe that trade is good for both countries but when we're in the USA we can't just ask them to do it out of the goodness of their heart", newly minted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said in a recent interview.

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With the publication of more than a hundred goals, it is hard to say how many of them will be attractive and well-adopted in the renegotiation of the NAFTA.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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