One Humming American Factory Braces for a Renegotiated Nafta

In Economy On

The latest concern unfolds this week, as the Trump administration begins to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, redrawing the terms of commerce with Mexico and Canada.

The president has long criticized Nafta as a lethal threat to American livelihoods, asserting that it has spurred an exodus of jobs to Mexico while opening the borders to unfairly cheap, tariff-free imports. He has vowed to bring factory jobs back to the United States.

In outlining its goals for the Nafta renegotiation, the Trump administration listed as a priority shrinking American trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. Trade experts construed that as an intention to limit imports from those countries.

But many of the imports encouraged by Nafta are parts and raw materials used by American workers in fashioning finished wares. If Mr. Trump limits such imports, that could increase the cost of making goods at many American factories. It could provoke Canada and Mexico to similarly restrict trade, diminishing their purchases of American products.

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