Washington — US President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator came out of the gate sounding like he wants to fine-tune the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), not blow it up as some feared. During the election campaign, Trump called the trade deal with Mexico and Canada a "disaster" that cost millions of US jobs and hollowed out the manufacturing sector. A few weeks ago, he was weighing whether to pull out of the deal entirely. But his new trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, struck a more dovish tone on Thursday in serving notice to Congress of the administration’s intention to renegotiate the accord. Lighthizer noted the deal has been a success for some US industries, such as agriculture, investment services and energy. The veteran trade lawyer said the US would prefer to keep the three-way structure, a notable comment from an administration that has denounced multilateral deals as unwieldy. Meanwhile, the letter he sent to lawmakers to kickstart consultations omitted...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.