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Statement from Rep. Peter DeFazio on Trump Administration’s Notice to Begin NAFTA Renegotiations

May 18, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio today released the following statement on President Trump’s notice to Congress that he would begin renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Deal (NAFTA):

“I have been fighting against NAFTA and its disastrous impact on working class Americans for nearly twenty-five years. During his campaign President Trump called NAFTA the, “worst trade deal in the history of the world,” and promised to fix it within his first 100 days.  On the first day of this Congress I called on President Trump to fulfill that promise and negotiate a new NAFTA that will actually work for the American people and brings jobs back to the U.S. 

“I have introduced a resolution outlining the most basic principles that must be part of any new agreement, including the end of damaging Investor State Dispute Settlements, ensuring protections for Buy America and other domestic procurement provisions, removing the unconstitutional Chapter 19 which has devastated the softwood lumber industry in my district, and creating enforceable safety standards for foreign trucks operating on U.S. highways. Today’s vague NAFTA notification is wholly inadequate and addresses none of these concerns. The letter gives no real details about how the administration intends to conduct these negotiations or what they plan on achieving from them, leaving Congress completely in the dark.

As a member of the House Advisory Group on Negotiations (HAGON), I pressed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to ensure that any renegotiation of NAFTA would include these provisions and others.

Today’s notification letter is glaringly sparse on details, so it remains to be seen what will come of these negotiations and whether the President will fulfill his campaign promise to working American families.  No matter what, I will continue pushing to ensure that we secure a new trade deal which promotes American workers, protects the environment, and brings jobs back to the U.S.”