AMERICA/ UNITED STATES - “Promote development and protect vulnerable citizens” NAFTA agreement for revision

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 politics   poverty   economy

Washington (Agenzia Fides) – For some time it had been clear that US President Trump aims to revise the free trade agreement between USA, Canada and Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1994, when the US President was Bill Clinton, even though the agreement was originally negotiated by his predecessor, George H.W Bush.
Robert Lighthizer, commercial representative for the USA, has sent a letter to Congress notifying this intention which may start in 90 days’ time, after August 16. In the next 90 days Lighthizer will start consultations with “Congress and the American stakeholders to produce an agreement that will promote the interests of workers, farmers, stock-breeders and businesses” as stated in the letter. According to Lighthizer, NAFTA needs to be “modernised” because not even a comma has been changed since it came into force, whereas “our economy and businesses have changed considerably”.
Eric LeCompte, of the Jubilee USA Network, and Jennifer Hojaiban, sent a letter to Lighthizer stressing the need in these trade negotiations to promote development, to discuss problems and protect vulnerable citizens.
One possible consequence could be a crash in the industry connected with automobiles in Mexico, which thanks to NAFTA had more than 30 auto assembly centres, moreover the spare-parts market had brought growth Mexico had never seen before. According to an Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report, jobs in this field have diminished in the US but increased in Canada and Mexico.
Exports to Mexico grew from US $ 51.000 million in 1993 to US $ 223.000 million in 2011, with an increase of 330%, according to a study by the American Chamber of Commerce .
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 14/06/2017)