The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement in principle, subject to finalization and implementation, of the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA.
According to a release from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the updated agreement will “support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America. While agriculture has generally performed well under NAFTA, important improvements in the agreement will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly. Under a modernized agreement, tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico will remain at zero.”
According to Reuters, Trump is expected to send formal notice to the U.S. Congress by the end of the week about his intentions to sign a new trade agreement within 90 days, which would give Mexico’s Pena Nieto time to sign it before he leaves office.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement released Monday that, “The agreement specifically addresses agricultural biotechnology to keep up with 21st Century innovations. And we mutually pledge to work together with Mexico to reduce trade-distorting policies, increase transparency, and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products.
“This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers.”