In Shift, Obama Doesn’t Plan to Reopen NAFTA Talks
20 Apr 09 | NYT
The administration has no plans to reopen negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement to add labor and environmental protections, as President Obama vowed to do during his campaign, the top trade official said on Monday.
“The president has said we will look at all of our options, but I think they can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement,” said the official, Ronald Kirk, the United States trade representative. It was perhaps the clearest statement yet from the administration that it will not reopen the core agreement to add labor and environmental rules.
Mr. Kirk spoke in a conference call with reporters after returning from a regional summit meeting that Mr. Obama attended over the weekend in Trinidad. He said that Mr. Obama had conferred with the leaders of Mexico and Canada — the other parties to the free-trade agreement — and that “they are all of the mind we should look for opportunities to strengthen Nafta.” >>>