If Mexican officials were hoping that the North American Free Trade Agreement was going to stay intact under the Trump administration, they were sadly mistaken — and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross just put them on notice that their worst nightmare is going to begin in a few weeks.
According to CNBC, Ross announced Friday that he plans to begin the formal process of renegotiating NAFTA “in the next couple of weeks.”
American law stipulates that the executive branch needs to inform Congress 90 days before it signs any new trade agreement. Ross said that there is no “date certain” to begin the formal process, according to Breitbart.
During a joint news conference with Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Ross also announced he had been consulting with the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees on negotiations involving the trilateral agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“The next stage will be hopefully in the next couple of weeks, which will be to issue 90-day letter,” Ross said.
While three nations are involved in NAFTA, Ross said negotiations with Mexico and Canada could happen separately as “two parallel bilaterals.”
Renegotiating NAFTA had been one of President Donald Trump’s major promises during his campaign, and Ross seemed to indicate that he was going to reshape the agreement based on current economic realities.
Trump had already signed, in the same executive order in which he announced America’s intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an order declaring his intent to renegotiate NAFTA, according to CNBC.
Rebuilding the U.S. economy was a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign, and Ross said, “doesn’t deal with the Mexican economy or the U.S. economy or the Canadian economy in their current form.”
“At a minimum its needs an update. Arguably there were some sections that didn’t work out.”
You can bet this is making Mexico very nervous… and the Trump White House very happy.
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H/T Financial Post