WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has released its goals for a new North American Free Trade Agreement: it’s a list of broad themes, with some hints of irritants ahead.
The U.S. says it wants better access for its exports of agriculture — including dairy products, wine and grain.
It also wants freer trade in telecommunications, and online purchases; new rules on currency manipulation; and an overhaul of the dispute-settlement system.
One demand could pit Canadian consumers versus bricks-and-mortar retailers: the U.S. wants to increase, by 40 times, the amount Canadians can shop online without paying an import tax.
The release of this 16-page list comes as no surprise to the Canadian government. The Prime Minister’s Office was in touch with the White House — sources say it was given a heads up in advance of the release.
NAFTA talks are expected to begin on or around Aug. 16.