WASHINGTON POST: The Trump administration will seek modest – but numerous – changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a draft of a letter sent to Congress last week, displaying a much more conventional approach to trade negotiation than the dramatic changes President Donald Trump had suggested he planned to seek.
The draft letter suggests a much more diplomatic tone than Trump has threatened to use during NAFTA renegotiations. It says, among other things, that the White House would look to strengthen cooperation under the World Trade Organization, an international group that the Trump administration had suggested in the past it might not abide by.
The draft letter also indicates that Canada and Mexico are the United States’ two largest export markets and that the countries have “shared borders” and “shared goals, shared histories and cultures, and shared challenges.”
“Compared to some of the campaign rhetoric, the letter seemed quite reasonable and measured,” said John Veroneau, a former deputy U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush. “It didn’t strike me as suggesting a departure from the status quo in any significant way.”
One section of the letter that is likely to prove controversial appears to call for restricting federal procurement to U.S. suppliers. If the two other countries adopted similar rules in response, U.S. firms that have contracts with Mexico City and Ottawa could lose business, warned Jeff Schott, an expert on trade at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Click here to read the full Washington Post story in the Denver Post.