US to Pull out of North American Free Trade Agreement?

The Story:

President Donald Trump campaigned in large part on dissatisfaction with the North American Free Trade Agreement. Talks toward “modernization” are underway, but are deadlocked.

The Background:

Trump’s campaign promise was, “A Trump administration will renegotiate NAFTA and if we don’t get the deal we want, we will terminate NAFTA and get a much better deal for our workers and our companies: 100 percent.”

Talks are stuck largely over the Trump administration’s opposition to the agreement’s “chapter 19,” on anti-dumping complaints: it wants changes that would let the U.S. act unilaterally (and impose countervailing duties) if it decides that goods from Mexico or Canada are being ‘dumped’ in the US, that is, sold at below-market prices.

The Thing to Know:

Views on NAFTA don’t break down predictably along party (or left/right) lines. The administration of President George H.W. Bush (R) negotiated much of the treaty with its Canadian and Mexican counterparts. President Clinton (D) pushed for Congressional approval.

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