U.S. Administration Triggers Countdown to Mid-August NAFTA Renegotiation

Nafta three flags

The U.S. Presidential Administration and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have delivered letters that triggered the 90-day countdown to NAFTA renegotiations. The letters state that the U.S. intends to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico "as soon as practicable, but no earlier than 90 days from the date of this notice", which would be August 16. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 14 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

This is the first step towards changing the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was first brought into force in 1994. As customs brokers, Farrow is unsure as to where this will take NAFTA, particularly in view of the fact that three signatory countries are required. These three countries have vastly varying interests in the negotiations, so it may take quite some time before “NAFTA 2.0” comes into force.

When it comes to current trade disputes over imports of Canadian softwood lumber or Mexican sugar, Lighthizer said he hopes these issues would be settled before the NAFTA talks begin under separate negotiations being conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department. Until the renegotiations are complete, everything will remain unchanged and will continue to be business as usual. This page will be updated as events unfold.


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