U.S. and Mexico appear to take first steps toward renegotiating NAFTA, document suggests

2/1/2017 Washington Post

pena nieto wefDonald_Trump)The United States and Mexico appear to have taken the first steps toward renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a Mexican government document, walking down a path that would fulfill one of President Trump’s big campaign promises and potentially transform the hemisphere’s economy.

A communique posted by Mexico’s foreign and economic ministries on a government website on Wednesday said that the Mexican government had begun a series of consultations with the private sector, a process which it said would take 90 days. “The consultation in Mexico will start simultaneously with the internal process being carried out by the government of the United States,” the document said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment and officials in the U.S. Congress said they had not yet been notified of any formal action. But trade economists said the process might be tied to U.S. legislation passed under former president Barack Obama that gives the president power to quickly broker a new trade agreement. Called fast-track authority, it requires the president to notify Congress 90 days before entering into negotiations for a new agreement.

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