The next round of NAFTA talks has been delayed to allow for a series of high level meetings in DC on Friday April 6th, (Next round of NAFTA talks on hold as ministers meet in Washington) between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Billarreal. The 8th Round is expected to begin next week, from April 8-18, although it has not been formalized yet. In addition, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the US will meet at the Summit of the America's April 13th-14th, where there is a possibility of signing an agreement in principle on NAFTA.
Since the last round of talks in March, the Trump administration has pulled back on some of its contentious auto-manufacturing requirements, but a number of serious questions remain, including carve-outs on steel and aluminum tariffs for Mexico and Canada, which expire on May 1st (U.S. sets May 1 tariff threat on Canada, Mexico amid rush to speed up NAFTA talks) and the proposed "sunset clause" requiring NAFTA renegotiation every 5 years. The US tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico received temporary exemptions after stakeholders expressed concern over impacts. PNWER issued a statement on the proposed tariffs on March 7th PNWER Letter to President Donald J. Trump - March 7, 2018 Also nearly 130 republican congressional leaders, led by Rep. Dave Reichert (WA) signed a letter opposing the tariffs
Nearly 100 Congressional Republicans sent a letter to the USTR to push to maintain the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in NAFTA, in response Ambassador Lighthizer's statements on his preference to do away with the ISDS process before the House Ways and Means Committee.
In Idaho, bi-partisan state legislative leaders have expressed their concern over the potential impact of withdrawal from NAFTA on the state. Minority Leader Rep. Erpelding and Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee chair Sen. Jim Patrick co-authored an editorial outlining their concerns: NAFTA has been a game-changer for Idaho. Don’t damage Idaho agriculture, tech companies
Finally, here's a new tool developed by the US Chamber showing economic data by state related to NAFTA trade with Canada and Mexico: https://www.naeconomicalliance.com/nafta-and-you-interactive-map/ According to the tool, across WA, OR, ID, and MT there are 585,000 jobs supported by NAFTA and $13,218,868,498 in NAFTA supported exports.
Other NAFTA and Trade news:
Senate Ag chairman says trade disputes “not a good situation”
As Trump Threatens NAFTA (Again), States With the Most on the Line Ahead of Trade Talks
These deadlines explain why Trump's hurrying to get a Nafta deal
Alberta signs letter to U.S. President Donald Trump opposing steel tariffs
Any NAFTA deal in principle would focus on auto rules
In Nafta Shift, U.S. Focuses on Labor Standards
Contributions by Zack Tarhouni, PNWER Intern