Status Report - Recent Actions & Key Policymakers in the Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement

International Trade Report

Date: May 10, 2017

President Trump emphasized international trade throughout his campaign and has made it a major issue since taking office in January. Many of his executive orders and press statements have focused on broad trade issues, such as directing his administration to review trade agreement violations and abuses, to undertake an analysis on trade deficits, and to implement his “Buy American, Hire American” strategy. Trump has also taken specific trade actions, such as withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the first day of his presidency and determining that China is not a currency manipulator. One major campaign trade issue/promise, however, remains unresolved at the 100-day mark of the Trump presidency: the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trump has been critical of NAFTA, but his intentions have varied from vowing outright withdrawal to identifying key provisions that must be renegotiated to stating that the 25-year-old agreement needs to be completely revised and updated. While discussions on NAFTA among the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States have occurred, no formal actions have been taken yet. Many questions remain, and Trump administration officials at times offer conflicting statements pertaining to the trade agreement. For our readers, we have prepared a status report (PDF) regarding NAFTA.