Roughly 20 months into President Trump’s first term, our president has delivered on yet another one of his promises to the American people. When he ran for president, he committed to modernizing and updating our bad trade deals to ensure Americans and their well-being came first. Now, he has accomplished yet another feat that previous presidents failed to do: renegotiate our unfair trade deals.
Nearly 25 years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was created to allow goods and services to pass throughout our continent freely. Before NAFTA was put in place, the U.S. ran a $115 billion goods trade deficit with Mexico. In 2017, that goods deficit rose to nearly $800 billion. Unfortunately, what was meant to be a fair deal among three neighboring countries resulted in closed U.S. factories and jobs being sent overseas.
This week, President Trump announced that the United States and Mexico reached an agreement to modernize the trade agreement currently governing our trade deals. This marks the first time a modern U.S. trade agreement has been successfully renegotiated. The proposed agreement establishes new “rules of origin” requirements to incentivize billions a year in the production of vehicle and automobile parts, stronger and more enforceable labor standards, improvements to trade food and agriculture more fairly, tough intellectual property protections, and the strongest transparency obligations of any U.S. trade agreement.
Our trade agreements with other nations should handle trade in a balanced and sustainable way and bring along with it a stronger American economy. The American Farm Bureau has come out in support of the Administration’s efforts saying: “In a time when the U.S. economy is booming our farmers have been left behind. Open markets and good trade agreements will give American agriculture the opportunity to be a part of this booming economy.” President Trump has followed through on his promise to put America’s farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers first.
The U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement is a good step forward to putting our country back on the right track for trading with other countries. President Trump, who we know to be a tough negotiator, continues to keep his promises to the American people. This new proposed trade deal is a win for Americans. I am hopeful that a trade deal with Canada will follow suit so that Congress can vote to approve a modernized NAFTA in order to maintain sustainable trade practices for years to come.