American NAFTA List Hints at Tough Negotiations Down the Road

The Trump administration has released its broad goals for a new North American Free Trade Agreement in mostly vague language that offers just enough specific clues to point to potentially tough negotiations ahead.

The U.S. says it wants more exports of its dairy products, wine and grains; freer trade in telecommunications and online purchases; new rules on currency manipulation; an overhaul of the dispute-settlement system; and more access for U.S. banks abroad.

A Washington-based trade expert who advises the Canadian government didn’t flinch when asked what this means for NAFTA talks, which are scheduled to start next month: “Longer, rather than shorter,” said Eric Miller, a consultant at Rideau Potomac who advises Industry Canada.

“It will be pretty intense and hard-fought. … Don’t expect it to be finished in less than eight months,” Miller said. “And expect Canada to have to fight hard for issues it cares about.”

  • tom_billesley

    Despite the stark challenges ahead, Trans-Pacific Partnership members appear committed to forging ahead with a new agreement without the U.S.
    Thursday also saw the 11 states decide to lower the strict threshold for a deal to come into force, Miha Hribernik, senior Asia analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, said in a recent note, explaining that “the original document had to be ratified by six countries, accounting for at least 85 percent of the total gross domestic product of the original twelve signatories — an impossible task without the U.S.”

  • simus1

    The most obvious and embarassing question would be to ask the US why don’t they simply implement a combined state and federal VAT which would fix many of their supposed difficulties in the international trade area.

  • Minicapt

    If the Softwood lumber dispute is on the list, then the US is bargaining in bad faith.