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    US Aims to Eliminate Subsidies, Restrictions When Renegotiating NAFTA

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    The United States will work to eliminate unfair subsidies, market-distorting practices and burdensome restrictions on intellectual property when it renegotiates the NAFTA trade agreement, according to a list of objectives published by the US Trade Representative (USTR).

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released the detailed summary of the US objectives ahead of the expected start of the negotiations, saying the talks would start no earlier than August 16.

    "The new NAFTA must continue to break down barriers to American exports. This includes the elimination of unfair subsidies, market-distorting practices by state owned enterprises, and burdensome restrictions of intellectual property," the USTR said in the document posted on Monday.

    "President Trump continues to fulfill his promise to renegotiate NAFTA to get a much better deal for all Americans," Lighthizer said in an accompanying press statement. "Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR will negotiate a fair deal. America’s persistent trade imbalances, break down trade barriers, and give Americans new opportunities to grow their exports. President Trump is reclaiming American prosperity and making our country great again."

    Among the objectives Lighthizer outlined are reducing the US trade deficit with NAFTA countries, maintaining reciprocal duty-free market access for industrial goods, and ensuring transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of regulations.

    The negotiating objectives also include adding a digital economy chapter and incorporating and strengthening labor and environment obligations that are currently in NAFTA side agreements.

    The USTR will also seek to create a mechanism to deter currency manipulation, according to the document.

    The document said the US would "through an appropriate mechanism, ensure that the NAFTA countries avoid manipulating exchange rates in order to prevent effective balance of payments adjustments or to gain an unfair competitive advantage."

    At the direction of US President Donald Trump, Lighthizer on May 18 notified Congress of the administration's intent to begin renegotiating NAFTA.

    Since the NAFTA trade deal was agreed in 1994, the US trade balance with Mexico has gone from a $1.3 billion surplus to a $64 billion deficit in 2016.


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