Trump administration gives notice on NAFTA renegotiations

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The Trump administration gave Congress official notice on Thursday that it wants to renegotiate NAFTA, saying there should be provisions on digital trade, intellectual property rights, labor and environmental standards, and regulatory measures.

In a brief letter to lawmakers, Robert Lighthizer, the newly confirmed U.S. trade representative, said the administration aims to support economic growth and better-paying jobs through unspecified improvements to the North American Free Trade Agreement that would modernize the 23-year-old deal, according to The New York Times.

The notice mentioned none of the major modifications, such as higher tariffs, that the president had hinted he would seek.

“Today President Trump fulfilled one of his key promises to the American people,” Lighthizer said Thursday, according to the paper. “For years, politicians have called for the renegotiation of this agreement, but President Trump is the first to follow through with that promise.”

The Obama administration attempted to address many of these deficiencies in the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which included Canada and Mexico, but Trump pulled out of TPP in one of his first official acts as president, according to a Reuters report.

Lighthizer said he will seek public comment on the NAFTA process and intends to publish negotiating objectives on or about July 16.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is urging its members to provide feedback to the trade group via a survey so it can best represent the boating industry during the public comment period.

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