Mexico warns of its trade alternatives if US leaves NAFTA

Geneva Matthews
May 13, 2017

The 82-14 confirmation vote included opposition from GOP Sens. Udall was among a handful of Democrats who earlier on Thursday voted against a cloture. "We also want to examine opportunities for bilateral trade agreements in key markets like Japan".

One of Lighthizer's first orders of business will be to consult Congress on the administration's plans to renegotiate Nafta, which Trump called a "disaster" during the election campaign.

But Lighthizer has been a harsh critic of China's trade practices, and is a well-known sceptic of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, he lambasted US trade officials as too passive in the face of China's economic rise.

Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into the the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on November 2, 2016.

The Senate voted 82-14 to confirm Robert Lighthizer, who served as deputy US trade representative under President Ronald Reagan and has worked on trade issues as a lawyer representing various manufacturers and high-tech companies.

Just two years ago, a solid bipartisan majority supported free trade. That move eventually led Japanese automakers to open plants in the United States, thereby creating, instead of shipping all its cars from Japan.

The dairy industry is eager to work with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to protect and expand market access for U.S. dairy while addressing problematic Canadian dairy policies, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said following Lighthizer's Senate confirmation.

Two Republican senators said late Wednesday they would oppose Lighthizer. Sen.

If the United States were to withdraw from NAFTA, it would not necessarily mean the end of the trade deal.

It served as a double hit against Hillary Clinton, who had begun the negotiations on TPP while serving as secretary of state and who was first lady when Bill Clinton cinched the 1993 trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

Only 11 Democrats voted against Mr Lighthizer, nearly all of whom are considered future presidential candidates or among the most liberal.

Thursday's confirmation came after a months-long process that began on January 3, when Trump announced his intent to nominate Lighthizer.

During his confirmation hearing, Lighthizer told lawmakers that China presents one of America's leading trade problems, adding that the World Trade Organization isn't capable of handling cases relating to China's industrial policy.

"Right now, we're in a tough patch, and we're trying to get a trade policy squared away", Roberts said.

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