President Trump Announces the “United States–Mexico Trade Agreement”

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released three U.S.-Mexico Trade Fact Sheets announcing that the United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement, in principle, to update the 24-year-old NAFTA with modern provisions representing a 21st century, high-standard agreement.  The updated agreement will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.

President Trump has explicitly referred to the new agreement as the “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”, stating that NAFTA has a “bad connotation” for the United States. The President hopes to get Canada on board with a new trade deal by Friday but is already committed to formally notifying Congress that he will sign the deal in 90 days, despite the fact that the deal requires congressional approval.

Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, cut short her diplomatic trip to Europe Monday to head to Washington for trade talks with the United States that will commence on Tuesday, August 28th. Without Canada, America’s No. 2 trading partner, it’s not clear whether a lasting U.S. trade agreement with Mexico would be possible. A spokesman for Freeland says Canada will only sign a new trade deal that is good for Canada.

Vice President Pence released a statement advising that, “The U.S.–Mexico Trade Agreement is a win for American ranchers, manufacturers, and auto workers. Our nations have agreed to new rules that will maintain duty free access for agricultural goods on both sides of the border, an agreement to eliminate non-tariff barriers, and to take other steps to encourage more agriculture trade between our two countries.” U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, says periodic reviews would be required once a new agreement is signed.

Shapiro will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.