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Closing Statement of USTR Robert Lighthizer at the Second Round of NAFTA Renegotiations

September 05, 2017

As Delivered  

September 5, 2017

Mexico City, Mexico

Ambassador Lighthizer:

Good Afternoon.

Thank you minister and secretary for your good wishes on behalf of the people in Texas and Louisiana who are suffering so much right now. It’s a great pleasure for me to be here in Mexico City.

I first want to thank Secretary Guajardo, his colleagues in the Mexican government, and the Mexican people for their generous hospitality. It has been years since I first visited Mexico City, and I was excited to return. This is a beautiful, fascinating city, and home to one of the great cultures of the world. It’s a real pleasure to be here and to witness that and to experience it.

I would also like to thank Minister Freeland for her leadership during these rounds. Together, we have developed a great relationship, and I am looking forward to continuing sitting across the table from both of you as things proceed.

Today, we mark the conclusion of the second round of this historic negotiation. I am pleased to report that we have found mutual agreement on many important issues.

Our work continues at a record pace. By the end of this round, we will have tabled text for over two dozen chapters. These chapters represent a new modern agreement which, once concluded, will support robust economic growth in North America for decades to come.

As you know, these negotiations are a very important priority for President Trump.

The American delegation is focused on expanding opportunities for American agriculture, services, and innovative industries. 

But, as I alluded to in my opening round, we also must address the needs of those harmed by the current NAFTA, especially our manufacturing workers. We must have a trade agreement that benefits all Americans, and not just some at the expense of others.

I am hopeful we can arrive at an agreement that helps American workers, farmers, and ranchers while also raising the living standards of workers in Mexico and Canada.

Secretary Guajardo and his team have done an excellent job chairing the second round, and I look forward to continued progress for round three and the ones that follow.

Thank you.