North American Free Trade Agreement

The Trump administration is to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement tomorrow and has the qualified support of Ohio Democrats like Congressman Tim Ryan. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, issues like transparency, labor rights and the environment may erode that support.

Congressman Tim Ryan
Tim Rudell / WKSU

At least one Ohio Democrat is skeptical of President Trump’s outline of how he wants to renegotiate NAFTA.  

Congressman Tim Ryan – a Youngstown-area Democrat -- also been pushing for improvements to the North American Free Trade Agreement. But he says 25 years of trade has cemented complex supply and other relationships, and that’s why he wanted to see details on what the Trump administration hopes to accomplish. So far, he says, all he’s seen are vague generalities.

NAFTA flag
WIKIMEDIA

Renegotiating NAFTA was a big selling point for Donald Trump with Ohio voters, and likely represents his best chance of getting Ohio Democratic support in Congress. 

The Trump administration has officially notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement but is being vague about what changes will be negotiated. The notice came from Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade represenative and Ashtabula native.

SHERROD BROWN
FILE PHOTO

Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he remains hopeful he and President Trump can work together to renegotiate trade agreements. He says he and Trump have talked by phone about “Buy American” priorities, and he’s had repeated meetings with Trump’s economic and trade representatives to discuss revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement.