Negotiations will begin no earlier than Aug. 16. The USTR will publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting public input on the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations.
Groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Association of Global Automakers reacted positively to the news, while organizations such as Public Citizen and the United Steelworkers union fear that NAFTA renegotiation will be a back-door attempt to revive portions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which President Trump killed earlier this year after explicitly promising to do so during his campaign.
"Manufacturers are rolling up their sleeves to identify ways to modernize the 23-year-old NAFTA so the United States can be competitive in today's global economy," said Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for NAM.
"The jobs of 2 million manufacturing workers depend on trade with Canada and Mexico. It's most important that we protect those jobs and use this opportunity to create more."
In response to the USTR letter, the Association of Global Automakers, a trade group represents the U.S. operations of international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations, said it supports the administration's efforts to update and plans to "work constructively" with the administration.