First round of NAFTA ne­go­ti­a­tions set to run Aug. 16-20

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

OT­TAWA — The first round of ne­go­ti­a­tions on a new North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment will take place Aug. 16-20.

U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Lighthizer has an­nounced that the ini­tial talks be­tween Amer­i­can, Cana­dian and Mex­i­can ne­go­tia­tors are to take place in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

He’s also an­nounced that John Melle, as­sis­tant U.S. trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Western Hemi­sphere, will be the chief ne­go­tia­tor for the Amer­i­cans. The an­nounce­ment fol­lows a meet­ing of mid-level of­fi­cials from all three coun­tries in Wash­ing­ton on Mon­day to ar­range the lo­gis­tics of the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The United States ini­ti­ated the process for rene­go­ti­at­ing the 23-year-old tri­lat­eral trade agree­ment in May, in keep­ing with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s prom­ise to get a bet­ter deal for his coun­try. This week, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion also re­leased its set of pri­or­i­ties for the talks, and there is pres­sure on Cana­dian law­mak­ers to do the same.

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