The NAFTA talks start today.

The NAFTA talks will start today between the US, Canada and Mexico. The US trade representative is Robert Lighthizer. An experienced trade negotiator and litigator, Ambassador Lighthizer brings a history of tough U.S. trade enforcement and a record of standing up for American workers, farmers, manufacturers, and businesses.

He adds:

  • Need to modernize NAFTA to include digital trade, e-commerce
  • Hopes to create model provisions in NAFTA that can be used in future years
  • Will seek to protect farmers
  • NAFTA has failed for countless Americans. cannot ignore trade deficits
  • At least 700K Americans have lost jobs due to NAFTA changing trade flows
  • Must ensure that huge NAFTA trade deficits do not continue and there is reciproocity
  • Autos mus have higher NAFTA content.
  • Dispute settlement systems must ensure national soverignty
  • US priorities show that NAFTA negotiators have difficult tasks

Meanwhile Canada's representative Chrystia Freeland is on the wires saying:

  • Does not view trade surpluses/deficits as primary measure of whether a trading relationship works
  • US, Canada and Mexico have powerful shared interest in reaching mutually beneficial NAFTA agreement

Mexico's Guajardo says:

  • Issue with NAFTA is not tearing apart what has worked
  • In best interesst of 3 economies to move fast forwward, taking fully into account the substance, content of negotiations
  • Mexico comes to NAFTA negotiations to play constructive role, to advance our interests and goals without risking what region has achieved.

The talks will likely go as well as President Trumps winning record. They will already be tough for Canada and Mexico, but if the President is on a losing streak, you can imagine he might instruct Lighthizer to hold a hard line in order to get a win. The talks will likely take a few months to complete.