US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer apparently made interesting news this week suggesting that after NAFTA, the rest of the South America could be set for a “modernization” of their relationship with the United States. Inside Trade reports:
Once the “NAFTA problem” is solved, the U.S. can shift its attention to updating free trade agreements with countries in the Latin American region if certain conditions are addressed, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday. Pointing to U.S. agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama and Chile, as well as the Central America Free Trade Agreement, Lighthizer – in Florida for Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) Latin American summit – said all “need to be modernized, more or less…
Commentator Simon Lester, in response, made an interesting (and witty) remark: “It’s going to be hard to get any new trade deals if they spend so much time on the old deals.”
Which raises an interesting question—has the Trump administration introduced or suggested the possibility of any new trade agreements in the last six months? I suppose the United Kingdom could count, since Mr. Trump has suggested the possibility of an accord when Prime Minister May visited the country, but I wouldn’t call it “new” since technically the US already has a relationship—via the European Union. And I haven’t heard of any new agenda on trade formally announced by the USTR’s office.