Rep Cuellar on NAFTA Renegotiation Letter from Administration

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The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; French: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain, ALÉNA) is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Canada.

Texas Border Business

Washington, DC – This week, a draft letter (attached) from the administration to Congressional leaders, announcing President Trump’s intention to renegotiate NAFTA, circulated on Capitol Hill. On the campaign trail, President Trump repeatedly claimed he would eliminate NAFTA when he took office. This marks a departure from the position.

In response, Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) said:

“I’ve been saying all along that we should update NAFTA for the 21st century. I’m glad President Trump has backed down from his campaign rhetoric about eliminating the trade deal entirely, because it has been good for Texas businesses and the entire American economy.

This letter that is circulating doesn’t have a lot of specifics yet. It’s declaring an intent to renegotiate, and some general positive goals. I am open-minded and ready to dive into the details.

However, there are some concerning provisions in this letter. Currently, NAFTA member countries can’t put tariffs on goods imported from other members. This letter suggests creating a way to apply temporary tariffs in some circumstances. I am wary that such a provision may be a backdoor way to limit our international trade relationships and risk American jobs.

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Just yesterday I met with the Mexican Ambassador to the United States. We discussed how to improve trade and security together.

I assure my constituents that I will continue to follow this issue closely, to protect the international trade that supports millions of Texas jobs.”

To read the draft letter follow this link.