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Trump administration notifies Congress of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA

Talks with Canada and Mexico can begin after that. A few weeks ago, he was weighing whether to pull out of the deal entirely.

Secretary Tillerson told reporters there is much more to the U.S. Mexico dynamic than NAFTA and "the wall does not define our relationship".

In February, the Congressional Research Service released a report on NAFTA, which found the trade agreement "did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters".

Both organizations look forward to working with its partners in Canada, the USA and Mexico on this issue to ensure an open and vibrant produce supply chain. "On the other hand, efforts to abandon the agreement or impose unnecessary restrictions on trade with our North American partners will have devastating economic consequences".

In the formal notification to Congress, Lighthizer said NAFTA had not kept up with changes in the economy and business over the last 25 years, including the boom in e-commerce.

Trump has called NAFTA a "horrible deal" for the U.S. He discussed "tweaking" parts of the deal in February, and in April, he threatened to scrap it.

Trump frequently criticized NAFTA during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The trade deal, signed in 1992 and put into effect in 1994, became one of the defining issues of the 2016 presidential campaign, especially in MI.

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Chrystia Freeland said: "We are at an important juncture that offers us an opportunity to determine how we can best align NAFTA to new realities - and integrate progressive, free, and fair approaches to trade and investment".

"The letter to Congress has a more conciliatory tone", said Gabriela Cuevas, the head of Mexico's Senate foreign relations committee and a member of the opposition National Action Party. Trade across the NAFTA countries serves both consumers and deeply connected supply chains, providing significant jobs not only in agriculture but in processing and distribution. I am glad to see they finally agree with me that the best path forward is to update NAFTA, not dismantle it.

"You can't really blow up Nafta. It is stable and embodies the rule of law", he said.

But the deal would have given US farmers broader access to Japan's notoriously impregnable market and easier entry into fast-growing Vietnam.

The U.S. has run a surplus in farm trade with Mexico for 20 of the 23 years since NAFTA took effect. If the U.S.'s new standard is "fair", then it must be fair for all involved.

During the campaign, then-candidate Trump called NAFTA a "disaster", and renegotiation of the agreement is central to President Trump's "Top Issue" of "Trade Deals that Work For All Americans". Still, the surpluses with Mexico became deficits in 2015 and 2016 as global livestock and grain prices plummeted and shrank the value of American exports, notes Joseph Glauber of the International Food Policy Research Institute. "I'm not playing", Trump said. "That's unacceptable. If we don't make things in America, we won't have a middle class in America".

The move launching Nafta talks on Thursday is just the first step in a process that will drag on for months.

Negotiations will enter a very sensitive environment. "The whole energy sector has changed and the way we do business has too so I'm not averse to any of that", Pacheco said.

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