Katie Niederee, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515
Hatch Statement on NAFTA Trade Objectives
WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released the following statement after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced an initial set of negotiating objectives for the United States’ upcoming negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that the administration remains committed to following bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority and working closely with Congress to strengthen trilateral trade relations between the United States, Canada and Mexico. These objectives – which will be further developed as the negotiations proceed – are an important part of the public discussion about the launch of the upcoming trade talks among our three nations. However, if we are to truly modernize NAFTA and establish the most advantageous rules for selling American goods and services around the globe, future negotiating objectives must include stronger protections for intellectual property rights, upgraded rules and enforcement procedures for American exporters and investors, and improved regulatory practices that treat American goods and services fairly.
“The announcement today also shows that the administration is building toward an agreement that achieves the president’s goals of growing the American economy, holding trading partners accountable, and making North America the world’s hub for manufacturing, services and innovation. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to advance a strong trade agenda that will benefit American families, and produce better jobs and higher paychecks for more Americans here at home.”
BACKGROUND: As one of the chief architects of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) law, Hatch fought to secure provisions that would strengthen the role of Congress and require proper consultation between the legislative and executive branches during trade negotiations. Earlier this year, Hatch attended a meeting at the White House to discuss the Trump administration’s plan to begin negotiations on NAFTA. Under TPA, after notifying Congress of its intent to begin trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico, the administration must consult with Congress for 90 days before launching those negotiations. The 90-day period expires on Aug. 16, 2017.
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