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Consul General Says Renegotiated NAFTA Must Benefit Canada and U.S.

Canadian and American flags flying on flag poles on a day with blue skies
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The Trump administration may begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement this summer.

Michigan workers will keep a close eye on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this summer, when the Trump administration prepares to renegotiate the 25-year-old deal.  Michigan's largest foreign trading partner says change is overdue.

About 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada.  Cross-border commerce between Canada and Michigan amounts to about $70 billion annually, largely in the transport of manufactured parts.

The North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted in 1992. 

Canadian Consul General Douglas George says while it remains a solid base, NAFTA is outdated.

"It really is time to update and modernize the agreement, and Canada has its own ideas on how we can do that, and how we can move this agreement forward to the benefit of all the NAFTA partners," George says.

Critics claim NAFTA has outsourced jobs and decreased wages. 

Negotiations are expected to begin by mid-August.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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