U.S. Trade Represenative Robert Lighthizer announced Wednesday the first round of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will begin in August.
The NAFTA negotiations among the United States, Mexico, and Canada will take place in Washington D.C. from August 16 through August 20. NAFTA is a treaty among the three countries and first went into effect in 1994.
Throughout the campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump dubbed NAFTA the “single worst trade deal in history.”
“The negotiations are beginning on the first possible day, reflecting priority on renegotiating the deal,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said at the press briefing Wednesday.
August 16 is the first day after the 90-day consultation period, which Lighthizer initiated on May 18 when he notified Congress of the Trump administration’s intent to renegotiate NAFTA to “get a better deal for America’s workers, farmers, businesses and manufacturers.”
Lighthizer also announced Wednesday that assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western hemisphere, John Melle, will serve as the chief negotiator for NAFTA discussions.