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Upgrade with a dab of TPP may be U.S. recipe for NAFTA revamp

User Calender 15 Jul 2017
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Upgrade with a dab of TPP may be U.S. recipe for NAFTA revamp

Upgrade with a dab of TPP may be U.S. recipe for NAFTA revamp

Some provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Donald Trump quit as part of his pledge to protect American workers from "bad trade deals" may still serve to shape a revised NAFTA trade pact, U.S. officials and trade experts say.

Trump threatened to ditch the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement too, but eventually decided to renegotiate the pact in talks with Mexico and Canada due to begin in mid-August.

On Monday U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will offer first insights into the administration's strategy when he presents Congress its objectives for the NAFTA negotiations.

Several U.S. administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Lighthizer will outline plans for updating NAFTA rather than seek a major overhaul of the agreement. While the administration has said it hopes to complete NAFTA negotiations by the end of the year, the strategy will not set a timeline, they say.

Thus far, the Trump administration offered few specifics, other than expressing its desire to modernize the pact to account for digital trade that was in its infancy in the early 1990s and to tackle festering issues on labor, environment, intellectual property rights and state-owned enterprises.

Since those areas have already been addressed in the TPP negotiated under Democratic President Barack Obama and agreed by Canada and Mexico, the pact provides a useful template that could help speed up the NAFTA negotiations, U.S. officials say.

They warn, however, that no final decision has been made on using TPP language.

TPP requires members, for example, to allow independent unions, set working hours and safety standards and deter forced labor and has set higher environment standards than any other previous U.S. trade deal.


User Calender 15 Jul 2017
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