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U.S. NAFTA renegotiation proposals are akin to a “de facto withdrawal” from the agreement and would diminish North American competitiveness to the advantage of China, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council said Thursday, calling the administration’s policy direction a “huge gift” to Asian competitors.

IN TRADE

Our weekly look at who's saying what on the biggest issues in trade.

Fri, 7:50 AM

“Does anybody think it’s protectionist to say you buy your own political risk insurance? I mean I can show you what protectionism is…. But it certainly isn’t this.”

Thu, 4:36 PM

China said it was encountering institutional and technical obstacles in preparing its submission.

Thu, 1:35 PM

President Trump and Argentine President Mauricio Macri spoke this week of their “continued commitment to expanding trade and investment.”

Thu, 10:50 AM

“Focus on the potential economic benefits to U.S. manufacturers and consumers of providing temporary tariff relief through the new MTB process.”

Thu, 10:34 AM

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in what he called an “unprecedented enforcement action,” today directed Customs and Border Protection to block timber imports from a Peruvian exporter the U.S. says engaged in illegal harvesting practices.

Whirlpool is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to include a 50 percent tariff on all large residential washers, in addition to a quota, in its final safeguard recommendations to President Trump in December.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is aiming for NAFTA disciplines on state-owned enterprises with broader coverage than what negotiators agreed to in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, though Mexico and Canada have been pushing back against that approach, multiple sources have told Inside U.S. Trade.

Several U.S. business groups have formed an informal coalition to collectively lobby for the preservation of NAFTA and oppose a series of proposals put forward by the U.S. during the negotiations.

While a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement is something U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer -- and President Trump -- “think about all the time” as an alternative to reaching a new deal with Mexico and Canada, USTR has not done “any analysis” on what the end of NAFTA would mean for the U.S., he said Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said he was seeking to shake up the congressional voting landscape for free trade deals, suggesting a retooled NAFTA could be a “historic agreement” backed by both the business community and labor unions -- as well as their champions on Capitol Hill.

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