Renegotiation of NAFTA: changes expected in the telecommunications sector

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Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo raised concerns Tuesday about US insistence on reducing trade deficits during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), APA reports quoting BBC.

This time, the United States seeks to "reduce the trade deficit by improving the access of goods manufactured in the country to the markets of Mexico and Canada", Reuters reported.

It also wants to strengthen labor and environmental obligations, as well as amending the rules of origin so that more of the products traded come from the United States and North America.

Lighthizer said the USA will work to eliminate "unfair subsidies, market-distorting practices by state-owned enterprises" and will improve intellectual property protections.

Vice President Mike Pence laughs as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a baseball bat as they attend a "Made in America" product showcase event at the White House, July 17.

Lighthizer said the negotiations would begin no earlier than August 16, 2017.

The Trump administration's plans to reframe the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement faces significant hurdles and includes some elements Canadians and Mexicans may find hard to swallow, analysts warn. Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo also noted on Tuesday that the push to eliminate Chapter 19 from the Agreement, as well as NAFTA's safeguard exclusion, will be tough for the U.S.to push through.

The outcome of those negotiations could significantly shift trade with Canada and Mexico that supports almost 14 million American jobs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Achieving Trump's campaign-promised NAFTA deficit-lowering and US job creation goals will require changes to NAFTA that GOP congressional leaders and the corporate lobby oppose and about which this document remains vague.

One of the key architects of NAFTA, former U.S. Ambassador Carla Hills, has told us that the agreement needed a major upgrade to address the digital age. And any attempt to make it easier for the United States to enact anti-dumping measures against Canada and Mexico and to impose extra import taxes in the future will also meet resistance. This means that Canada and Mexico will demand that the US also eliminate subsidies and other support measures to American farmers in return for allowing greater access to their agricultural markets to USA products.

Renegotiation talks are set to begin within a month. He said it was more likely a signal that the USA wants Canada to stop demanding greater access to contracts at the state and local level.

Of primary concern for Canadians is the USA demand for the elimination of NAFTA's Chapter 19, which requires a binational panel to hear complaints about perceived unfair trade. "It's not something achievable through trade policy", said Bown, who was a senior trade economist to the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama presidency.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, a vocal critic of NAFTA, said he wants to see more details of the proposal and looks forward to discussing them with Lighthizer. Will they give up on "Buy American", or really water it down? NCBA has expressed concern that any changes to the terms of NAFTA that impact beef and cattle trade may jeopardize the industry's current access to Canada and Mexico.

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