WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) released the following statements as the United States, Canada, and Mexico today begin the first round of negotiations to modernize and update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington, D.C.
As Chairman Brady said:
“This week, the United States takes its first critical steps toward modernizing and upgrading NAFTA to ensure that it continues to benefit America’s workers and job creators for years to come. This first round of negotiations marks a pivotal opportunity to bring this important trade agreement into the 21st century – to break down outdated customs barriers, modernize digital commerce practices, and establish the strongest enforcement standards and dispute settlement procedures to hold our trading partners accountable.
“By seamlessly building off of NAFTA’s existing benefits and further expanding trade throughout North America, we will continue to create American jobs, spur economic growth, and open up new opportunities for Americans of all walks of life. I’m confident in Ambassador Lighthizer’s ability to achieve the U.S. negotiating objectives as set forth by Congress for NAFTA and set a standard of excellence for future trade agreements. I look forward to working with him and his team as these important negotiations unfold.”
Trade Subcommittee Chairman Reichert added:
“Over the past several decades, NAFTA has positively transformed the U.S. and North American economy. It has reduced barriers to our exports, allowing American businesses to sell their goods and services more freely and competitively to markets around the world, creating countless U.S. jobs and lowering prices for consumers in the process. While NAFTA has benefited nearly every sector of our economy, the world has evolved tremendously since the agreement was signed in 1994. This week’s negotiating round provides an opportunity for the Administration to begin the process of bringing NAFTA into the 21st century and updating the deal to better serve American farmers, workers, exporters, and consumers. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Administration to ensure a modernized NAFTA strengthens America’s economic competitiveness while maintaining the benefits that we enjoy today.”