Trade talks are moving

Robert Lighthizer is finally confirmed as the new USTR representative and things are moving forward with NAFTA talk. This comes at a good time for NASCO, as Tiffany Melvin, president of the North American Strategy for Competitiveness (NASCO) and a group of NASCO members were in Washington around the same time. They met with Senator John Cornyn’s team who had just come from a meeting with the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. Senator Cornyn and Senate Finance Committee members said they were told President Trump’s trade team prefers a trilateral approach.  In fact, it looks like an official letter could be sent to Congress as soon as next Thursday. [Read more]

Points of interest from the meeting:

  • Several of our key U.S. NASCO states were vocal at the Committee Meeting – Grassley (IA), Stabenow (MI), Roberts (KS), McCaskill (MO)
  • Agriculture was among the top issues on the agenda
  • On the timing of when the administration intends to officially notify Congress — and begin a 90-day consultation period before talks with Ottawa and Mexico City kick off — Ross said “Well, we have some more consultations to do before that becomes appropriate.”
  • We are hearing the final notice is expected to be sent last week of May– after Lighthizer returns from his first travel abroad as USTR. His trip planned in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he will participate in the APEC trade ministers meeting.


Here is a very timely Op-Ed that appears in the LA Times from former US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Mack McLarty. A great read.

“A few days after marking its first 100 days in office, the Trump administration closed in on another milestone: $300 billion. That’s the total value of goods that crossed U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico between Inauguration Day and April 29.”

Read More


And a handy NAFTA Checklist

From dairy to liquor, a handy guide to key issues, as formal process set to start

Read More


Information courtesy of NASCO