US Republican Senator John McCain warns President Donald Trump not to walk out of NAFTA

August 15, 2017 10:30 pm

This photo taken on May 01, 2017 shows Senator speaking at an event in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Republican Senator John McCain has called on the administration of President to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and further promote the free flow of trade as Washington starts renegotiating the trilateral deal.
In a statement released on Tuesday, McCain urged the US president not to impose new barriers that would hurt trade with America’s closest trading partners, arguing that over the past two decades under NAFTA, trade with Mexico and Canada had increased and more jobs created.
“As renegotiations get underway, it’s important for the administration to recognize NAFTA’s many contributions and not impose new barriers that could harm our ability to trade with our closest neighbors,” the Republican senator said.
“Along with the countless individuals in my home state and around the country who have benefited from NAFTA, I urge the administration to pursue an outcome that does not pick winners or losers, but further promotes the free flow of trade with Mexico and Canada that has and will continue to boost our economy,” he added.
McCain had previously warned that withdrawing from NAFTA would be “a disaster,” and other senators called on Trump to improve NAFTA rather than radically alter the agreement.
Seven rounds of formal negotiations are set to begin on Wednesday in response to Trump’s assertion that global trade deals, including NAFTA, were poorly negotiated to the detriment of US companies. Trump has argued that NAFTA has led to the outsourcing of thousands of jobs from to Mexico and China.
NAFTA was first proposed by the administration of former President George H.W. Bush and was finalized by his successor Bill Clinton.
While on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, Trump repeatedly censured US membership in international trade deals, pledging to renegotiate or withdraw the country from multilateral trade accords that for decades have served as foundations for global economics.
The US president formally abandoned Washington’s intent to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the sweeping trade agreement signed under the preceding administration last year – just days after being sworn into office in January.
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