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Economic Impact of Current U.S. Trade Strategy

NAFTA renegotiation packet

The Trump administration has stated its trade strategy: Identify and remedy “unfair” practices using existing U.S. trade legislation and reduce bilateral trade deficits.

While much of the focus has been on China, the U.S. has also targeted Canada and Mexico in the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation. Attempting to reduce bilateral trade deficits and remedy unfair practices unilaterally could backfire on the American economy. Sectors like autos and agriculture could be affected by potential retaliation from trading partners. Jobs would then be lost, contrary to the administration’s wishes.

A trade strategy based on “America First” could easily deliver “America Last.”

Monica de Bolle, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

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