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White House Releases NAFTA Renegotiation Goals

The Trump administration says it aims to remove barriers to U.S. exports in a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative this week released a list of the White House’s objectives for a new NAFTA.

In a prepared statement, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said he needs to see more details, but “the real test will be whether President Trump puts American workers over corporate profits once negotiations begin.”

At least one labor leader in Northeast Ohio echoed that.

“It’s not the old NAFTA, that’s for sure,” said Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor.

Applegate said she’s cautiously optimistic a new deal would address one of labor’s criticisms that NAFTA is not transparent. 

“As long as they do what they say they’re going to do, which of course is key, they’re going to allow for more participation by the public and by workers, by all parties,” she said.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman issued a statement saying he applauded the administration for its “commitment to maintain open markets” and objective to “ensure NAFTA countries do not manipulate their currencies.”

The soonest negotiations could begin is mid-August. 

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