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Trump Backs Away From Document Suggesting Softer NAFTA Stand

Posted March 31, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Justin Sink, Billy House & Saleha Mohsin – Bloomberg)

The White House backed away from an administration letter to key members of Congress suggesting that President Donald Trump is softening his protectionist stance on NAFTA and instead seeking modest changes to the trade accord.

The draft renegotiation plans circulated in a letter from acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn would leave in place controversial pieces of the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, including an arbitration panel that lets investors bypass the court system to redress claims under the pact. Trump called NAFTA “a disaster” during his campaign.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday at his daily briefing that the draft, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by Bloomberg News, doesn’t reflect Trump’s goals for the talks.

“That is not a statement of administration policy,” Spicer told reporters. “That is not an accurate statement of where we are at this time.” Click here to read more.

Related: Trump NAFTA Blueprint Raises Concerns in Canada and Mexico (Wall Street Journal)