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Analyzing Trump’s wish list for renegotiating NAFTA




President Donald Trump gestures during a Made in America product showcase event at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2017.
President Donald Trump gestures during a Made in America product showcase event at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2017.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

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On Monday, the Trump administration sent Congress an 18-page “Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation,” that put a heavy emphasis on reducing trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, one of Trump’s longstanding campaign promises.

The wish list also included eliminating unfair subsidies and giving the U.S. more control in terms of cracking down on cheap incoming products, as well as provisions about currency manipulation that may be more of a signal to China. Ideas regarding the environment and labor regulation, reminiscent of those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Trump pulled out of early in his presidency, were also included in the proposal.

What’s in NAFTA currently and what’s in Trump’s plan to renegotiate the trade agreement? Are these objectives, especially the focus on trade deficit, a departure from previous trade agreements? And how likely are these objectives to make it past the negotiating table?

Guests:

Megan Cassella, trade reporter for Politico; she tweets @mmcassella  

Bryan Riley, senior policy analyst in trade policy at Heritage

Matt Gold, adjunct professor of Law at Fordham University; former deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for North America