The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been a hot-button issue over the past year. Political figures on both sides of the aisle have cursed the deal and stated it has hurt the United States as a global industry player.
President Donald Trump has promised to change that and now, we may have a timeline as to when we can expect to see progress. U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer, Thomas Donohue, told Reuters policymakers are aware there must be a new deal put in place without disrupting business.
“We’re not going to be fooling around with this deal in 2018,” he said in an interview on a visit to Mexico City where he will meet policymakers and make the case for free trade.
While Trump calls for renegotiation, defenders of the treaty state it has benefited all three countries involved — Canada, the U.S. and Mexico — and specifically has allowed the U.S. to compete in a global market.
The U.S. government has not notified congress of its intent to launch NAFTA renegotiations, which carries a 90 day wait period with. Talks may not begin until August, per the report.
However, when asked if a reworked deal could be in place by July of 2018, Donohue was blunt.
“Yes. That’s my opinion. That’s my view. The bottom line is we need to move forward on this deal. It is critical to our economic and geopolitical well-being. Period.”
Automakers have been in the crosshairs of NAFTA since now President Trump began campaigning. Specifically, then President-elect Trump called for a 35 percent border tax on U.S. automakers bringing their vehicles back into the country after being assembled in Mexico. GM was singled out amid it all.