The Trump Administration has officially jumpstarted the re-negotiation of NAFTA.
On Thursday, Congress received the notice of intent to renegotiate the treaty, putting the start of negotiations at no sooner than 90 days out, which makes August the earliest possible start of negotiations.
President Trump has railed against the North America defining free trade agreement many times in the past, and CNN says that it’s not immediately clear what it is that the Trump Administration wants to change about the treaty.
Trump threatened in recent weeks to completely pull out of the agreement, but went back on that threat after claiming to have personally spoken with the leaders of both Canada and Mexico, which are the other two countries who are party to the treaty.
Earlier this year, fitting in with his aggressively protectionist trade policy, Trump slapped a 20 percent tariff on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. That tariff came after Trump got into a huff over the import restrictions placed on American dairy products by Canada.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to impose massive tariffs on products imported from Mexico.
According to CNN, a 2015 nonpartisan Congressional study found that NAFTA hadn’t had a significant effect on the overall number of jobs in the United States.
The Trump Administration has, of course, claimed otherwise, including in a Thursday statement from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
‘Since the signing of NAFTA, we have seen our manufacturing industry decimated, factories shuttered, and countless workers left jobless. President Trump is going to change that.’