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Why Trump's combative trade stance makes US farmers nervous

20 Mai 2017

Donald Trump has put in motion the process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Just days after being sworn in as United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that President Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump's newly confirmed trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, told reporters on a conference call that NAFTA has been successful for USA agriculture, investment services and the energy sector, but not for manufacturing. The treaty needs to be updated to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, and environmental issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called NAFTA a "disaster" and blamed it for the hollowing out of the U.S. manufacturing sector. NAFTA took on a starring role during the election campaign previous year, with Trump promising voters to either throw it out or renegotiate a deal he claims sent millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico. "We've learned a lot and we can make it better". "The Trump Administration understands that NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture", said Spurlock.

She reiterated the government's key message on NAFTA - that it is in fact a good deal for all parties, including the US, where nine million American jobs are dependent on it. "At the end of the day our objective is going to be to negotiate a great deal for Canadians", she said, declining to give any details of Ottawa's negotiating position.

Ms Freeland said in a statement on Thursday that the country remains "steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region".

Negotiated by President George H.W. Bush and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994.

"Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very hard", Trump tweeted last month.

Trump has labeled NAFTA the worst trade deal in history. "Since NAFTA was implemented, USA agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled and quintupled, respectively. I mean it's like Trump. long on rhetoric and short on detail", said Jerry Pacheco. "We do have a preference: The agreement is trilateral and should continue to be a trilateral platform", Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told reporters Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister said that talks "need to be conducted in a trilateral fashion", and that officials there are "ready to roll up our sleeves". The article says Trump believes too many parts used to assemble goods in NAFTA countries are supplied by non-NAFTA nations.

"You don't start off trade picking fights with your trade partners that are completely unnecessary", says Aaron Lehman, a fifth-generation Iowa farmer who produces corn, soybeans, oats and hay.

The future of NAFTA has been uncertain since Trump announced in November past year that he would withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), another trade deal that covers 12 nations. According to the website Investopedia, "While thousands of US auto workers undoubtedly lost their jobs as a result of NAFTA, they might have fared worse without it".

Pacheco tells ABC-7 the 23-year contract between the U.S. Mexico and Canada could use some revamping.

Why Trump's combative trade stance makes US farmers nervous