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Trump administration announces renegotiation of NAFTA

Trump administration announces...

Thursday the Trump administration announced to Congress they would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Now local border traders are keeping a close watch on the latest changes.

The North American Free Trade agreement or NAFTA took effect in 1994. It created a trade agreement between Canada -- Mexico and the United States, essentially getting rid of import or export taxes.

President Trump has called it a disaster and others say America has seen a significant boost in trade.

According to the U.S. census the United States exported more than $2 trillion worth of goods. Texas alone exported $232 billion worth of products.

"Obviously trade is important, truly important issue and I think the filing of the authority with Congress this morning to start moving towards a fast track, authorities are very positive move," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The move to renegotiate NAFTA will trigger a 90-day consultation period among the administration, Congress and businesses but details of the negotiations are limited.

"You're struggling to understand what exactly he wants to negotiate and what the intent is. I mean it's like Trump ...  long on rhetoric and short on detail," said Jerry Pacheco.

Pacheco is executive director of the international business accelerator --  a trade counseling company in the region.

Pacheco tells ABC-7 the 23-year contract between the U.S. Mexico and Canada could use some revamping.

"We were just getting into the age of computers. There was no E-commerce. The whole energy sector has changed and the way we do business has too so I'm not averse to any of that," Pacheco said.

U.S. Senator John Cornyn released this statement after the announcement of NAFTA negotiations.

"I look forward to working with the president and community leaders in Texas to ensure any updates made are in the best interest of my state."

Pacheco feels the NAFTA negotations might mimic a recent trade deal between U.S. and China that many called lackluster.

"It's very little and it's very sectoral and when you look at it you kind of laugh. They are thinking it's monumental and all this and that..it's very light on substance," Pacheco said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the administration to move quickly saying a Mexican presidential election and congressional elections in 2018 could make it harder to seal an agreement next year.


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