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White House Likely to Set Sights on NAFTA Soon

Mar 08, 2017

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may be the next major campaign promise that President Donald Trump will aim to fulfill. Although the White House hasn’t made an official announcement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration will notify Congress this month of its intent to renegotiate the agreement, according to a report from Inside U.S. Trade. The written notification may come as early as March 15.

Trade Promotion Authority, which allows the president to propose trade pacts with only an up-or-down vote from Congress, stipulates that Congress must be notified 90 days prior to beginning renegotiation efforts. The notification must include specific objectives and outline how the agreement will further those objectives and benefit the United States.Additionally, the administration’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, who will head the office responsible for conducting trade negotiations, will have his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on March 14.

IDFA continues to work to ensure that the Trump administration understands the importance of NAFTA to the dairy industry. With Mexico, IDFA’s main objective is to protect current market access and preserve the excellent existing trade relationship, because nearly a quarter of U.S. dairy exports go to Mexico and can directly be tied to over 30,000 American jobs. The second priority will be to obtain fair market access for U.S. dairy exports to Canada.

For more information on NAFTA, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.org.