Congressman Henry Cuellar has issued the following statement regarding the latest round of negotiations talks as it pertains to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“The latest round of NAFTA re-negotiations represents a real opportunity for the Trump Administration to make meaningful progress in essential negotiations. Still, to this day, President Trump has seemed more interested in placing ‘poison pills’ and renewing reckless threats to withdraw entirely from this mutually beneficial trade agreement, rather than working with our international allies and neighbors to find solutions that directly aids American production and labor.
“Despite the non-cooperative approach to some of our Administration’s policy proposals, our counterparts in Mexico and Canada are still negotiating with us in full faith. And, to their credit, our Administration has made progress in limiting the most extreme aspects of President Trump’s proposals. Yet, including provisions like extremes on rules of origin, a five year sunset expiration on any deal, and ending an effective international dispute resolution mechanism are proposals that won’t lead to a new found era of cooperation. Rather, it will lead to greater distrust among our second and third largest trading partners. I have spoken to leaders in Canada and Mexico on multiple occasions and they have constantly reiterated one point to me: They want to work with us, but they have to be able to sell any deal to Legislatures back in their home countries.
“I hope the Trump Administration realizes that negotiating without foresight doesn’t just adversely affect our economy, it is a return to a panicked approach to globalization and adversely affects the jobs of the 21st Century workforce that depend heavily on American ingenuity. Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming more globalized. The question now becomes are we going to be the country that leads this shift? Or are we going to take a back seat because we refused to cast aside our differences with our greatest trading allies?”