The Trump administration will seek changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement allowing it to reimpose tariffs if a flood of imports from Canada and Mexico causes “a threat of serious injury” to U.S. industry, according a draft document sent to Congress.
The administration also will seek to eliminate a requirement in the 23-year-old trade deal that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy disputes be settled via a special dispute panel. Some U.S. industries including lumber have complained that the mechanism is ineffective in stopping unfair subsidies.
The objectives are contained in a draft notification letter circulated by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to members of Congress for review. The letter, seen by Reuters, is part of the legal process required to launch negotiations to revamp the NAFTA.
President Donald Trump called NAFTA a “disaster” throughout the 2016 election campaign, but the plan outlined in the letter would keep many of its provisions in place, including a settlement system for other disputes that circumvents local courts.