Hatch statement on NAFTA notification

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued the following statement after the Trump Administration notified Congress of its intent to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico regarding the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement: 

“I am pleased that President Trump is adhering to both the letter and spirit of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  Congress and the Administration must work hand-in-hand if we are to achieve the high-standard trade agreements our country needs to grow.   Bipartisan TPA put strong procedures on the books to ensure extensive consultations and creates high-standard negotiating objectives that our trade negotiators must meet.   Today’s notification starts the 90-day clock in which Congress will work seamlessly with Ambassador Lighthizer to examine how we can modernize NAFTA to meet the demands of the 21st century economy. I’m confident that through close consultation we can chart a course that not only strengthens this vital trade pact but also preserves our strong economic partnerships with Canada and Mexico.”

BACKGROUND: As one of the chief architects of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) law, Hatch fought to secure provisions that would strengthen the role of Congress and require proper consultation between the Legislative and Executive branches during trade negotiations. Earlier this year, Hatch attended a meeting at the White House to discuss the Trump Administration’s plan to reopen NAFTA. This week, he hosted meetings with members of the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Senate Advisory Group on Negotiations (SAGON) and the Administration – a new requirement, established by TPA that must be met before the administration can move forward with a 90-day notification of intent to enter into the negotiations for a trade agreement.