White House declares intent to renegotiate NAFTA
Published Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:10AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:30AM EDT
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has notified Congress of its intent to start renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Canadian government has also been notified of the intent, CTV’s chief political analyst Craig Oliver reported Thursday.
In a letter sent to Republican and Democrat Congress and Senate leaders, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that the president “intends to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding modernization” of NAFTA.
The letter gives Canada and Mexico a 90-day notice before the negotiations could begin.
Late last month, Trump said that he had planned to withdraw from NAFTA, rather than try to renegotiate it. But he said he changed his mind after speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Trump has repeatedly called NAFTA unfair to the U.S. and a “terrible” deal.
Lighthizer’s letter said the White House is looking to improve “U.S. opportunities” under NAFTA, adding that many chapters of the trade accord are “outdated and do not reflect modern standards.”
Lighthizer said the U.S. wants to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, state-owned enterprises, and customs procedures, among others.