The Trump administration has submitted a vague set of guidelines to Congress for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, disappointing those who wanted a major overhaul of a decades-old trade deal that Trump described as “disaster” during the presidential campaign.
In an eight-page draft letter to Congress, acting U.S. Trade Rep. Stephen Vaughn wrote that the administration intends to start talking with Mexico and Canada about making changes to the pact, which took effect in 1994. Trump and other critics blame the agreement for wiping out U.S. manufacturing jobs because it allowed companies to move factories to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labor.
The letter spells out few details and sticks with broad principles. But it appears to keep much of the existing agreement in place, including private tribunals that allow companies to challenge national laws on the grounds that they inhibit trade — a provision that critics say allows companies to get around environmental and labor laws.