Amid reports of US NAFTA pullout, Mexico leaned on diplomacy

President Donald Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of millions of US industrial jobs mostly to MexicoMore

"I respect their countries very much". Those were all components of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which covered a dozen countries including Mexico and Canada.

A White House statement issued late Wednesday night said Trump had spoken by phone with both Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

After speaking by telephone with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts a day earlier, Trump announced that the North American Free Trade Agreement would instead be renegotiated.

Tensions over Nafta rose to the surface days after the United States administration slapped a 24 per cent tariff on softwood lumber imports from Canada.

The Prime Minister's Office said Trudeau and Pena Nieto discussed NAFTA on Thursday and welcomed Trump's statement that he is prepared to renegotiate the agreement to the benefit of all three countries. "There is talk about what steps we can take to start the process of renegotiating or withdrawing from NAFTA", this source said. There are compelling reasons to update and reform NAFTA from agriculture's perspective, including improvements on biotechnology, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and geographic indicators.

The U.S. dairy industry argued that the policy violated NAFTA by creating incentives for Canadian processors to use local supplies, effectively blocking U.S. dairy exports, and directly causing a glut of U.S. milk supplies.

In the immediate wake of the election, high-tax companies in the US performed much better than low-tax companies. While I know NAFTA has devastated many communities, maybe unwinding NAFTA in a way that isn't prudent can do even more damage. That's a whole other show you could do, but it's not just NAFTA. "It would be devastating to see that relationship undermined".

In 2016, the USA exported almost $5 billion in milk production, which has created more than 97,000 jobs in the dairy industry alone.

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Earlier this week, Danny Stillwell, owner of Hainesville Sawmill northwest of Fredericton, said his mill is shutting down because of USA lumber tariffs.

Trump targeted Canada this week for what he said was unfair trade practices and he ordered a new 20 percent tariff on Canadian lumber imports, which could add to the cost of buying new houses in the United States. In Wisconsin last week, Trump called Canada's dairy pricing scheme "another typical one-sided deal against the U.S". He has a global reputation for scholarship in worldwide trade law and has authored dozens of journal articles and books including, "TPP Objectively: Law, Economics, and National Security of History's Largest, Longest Free Trade Agreement", "Modern GATT Law" and "Understanding Islamic Law (Shari'a)". He said half the industry will be wiped out if NAFTA goes away. That would increase to a maximum of 75 percent if shipments exceed a set quota.

Export markets remain "incredibly important" because USA dairy consumption rates aren't keeping pace with our ability to produce milk, Vilsack explained. The fact is, 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside of the United States and over 20 percent of US farm income is based on exports. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports.

Fryhover isn't looking for significant change. "The problem is it's very temporary, but he wants to get things done, and trade has always been one of his big issues".

"That gave us some assurance", said Schemm, adding that NAFTA "has been a very positive benefit to our Kansas wheat growers and USA wheat growers".

Trump earlier this year pulled the USA out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Pact trade agreement, which also included Canada and Mexico.

News of the possible USA pullout from Nafta rattled financial markets on Wednesday. "Now is not the time to dilly-dally - we need to make sure we're moving on these quickly, because the rest of the world is not sitting around". We look forward to working with the administration in developing the full list of topics for discussion.

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