Trump Administration Announces Its NAFTA Renegotiation Concerns

Donald Trump’s rhetorical hostility to free trade and his apparent desire to manage U.S. companies’ investment decisions over an obsession with “balance of trade” has been one of his most alarming characteristics to some libertarians.

Letters from Trump’s U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to various congressional leaders sent this week set forth the current contours of the Trump administration’s concerns over renegotiating NAFTA, which can be summed up as, to quote the letter:

new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.

It also notes they want “aggressive enforcement of…commitments made by our trading partners.” And they start with the nerve-wracking declaration that a prime goal in trade deal renegotiating will be to “support higher-paying jobs in the United States” and “improving U.S. opportunities” (by which they almost certainly don’t mean opportunities for citizens and companies to

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