Trump Transition Memo Details NAFTA Withdrawal, Trade Negotiations
As President-elect Donald Trump starts unveiling his plans for the next four years in the Oval Office, we've seen him discuss the potential tariffs on Chinese and Mexican goods and new tax legislation. Now, in a memo obtained by CNN, Trump's team said it will start reshaping U.S. trade policy on the first day of his administration.
The themes fit in with the promises Trump has made on the stump for the last few months—renegotiating or withdrawing from NAFTA, stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), stopping "unfair imports" and "unfair trade practices," looking toward bilateral trade deals, and cultivating manufacturing jobs. This last point would focus on lowering the business tax rate and scrapping regulations on businesses and restrictions on domestic energy, CNN reported.
Trump's team said it plans to order the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission to start a study on the consequences of withdrawing from NAFTA, and what the logistics would be to do so. He also plans to have a representative notify Mexico and Canada that the U.S. wants to propose amendments to NAFTA, including measures on currency manipulation, lumber, country of origin labeling, and environmental and safety regulations.
In his plan for his first 100 days, he said that he wants to label Mexico as a "currency manipulator."
For day No. 100, Trump plans to label China in a similar way and impose bilateral trade negotiations with it.
By day 200, Trump would use the information gathered by the study that (hypothetically) began on day No. 1 to consider formally withdrawing from NAFTA and continuing bilateral trade agreements. The document obtained by CNN stated that Congress gave the president the power to get trade deals through Congress more quickly until 2018. This power could be extended to 2021.
While the memo does address possible negative repercussions to withdrawing from NAFTA, it said that the administration could mitigate those problems if the U.S. pursues bilateral trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, as stated before.