During the past week, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) initiated events that will impact our trade relations with our top three trading partners—China, Canada, and Mexico.
On August 16th, USTR Robert Lighthizer opened the First Round of NAFTA Renegotiations with our Canadian and Mexican counterparts, a promise made by President Trump during his presidential campaign. In his Opening Statement, Ambassador Lighthizer noted:
This is a 23-year-old agreement and our economies are very different than they were in the 1990’s. We need to modernize or create provisions which protect digital trade and services trade, e-commerce, update customs procedures, protect intellectual property, improve energy provisions, enhance transparency rules, and promote science-based agricultural trade.
He pointed out that, while many Americans have benefited from NAFTA, “[w]e cannot ignore the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the businesses that have closed or moved because of incentives — intended or not — in the current agreement.”
Two days later, on August 18th, the United States formally initiated an investigation into China’s trade practices and policies. In his press release, Ambassador Lighthizer said:
On Monday [08/14/17], President Trump instructed me to look into Chinese laws, policies, and practices which may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development. Continue reading