White House Indicates All Trade Deals to Be Reviewed
February 2, 2017
By: David G. Forgue
On January 31, 2017 White House spokesman Sean Spicer indicated that the United States intends to review "all of the current trade deals" to which the United States is a party. The stated goal is to see if the agreements can be "improved." Spicer did not state what improvements the United States would seek, or whether there were specific concerns about specific agreements.
While the administration had made clear that it intended to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada, it had not indicated that 18 other agreements would also be reviewed. As such, the announcement has the potential to create uncertainty across global supply chains, as companies try to understand whether changes are likely to particular agreements. In the meantime, no schedule was set forth during the press briefing, and there is no indication whether additional staff would be hired to undertake the reviews.
The United States currently has free trade agreements with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, and Singapore. In addition, the United States and United Kingdom indicated that they intended to negotiate a trade agreement as early as possible.