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Obama Administration Says It Will Not Renegotiate NAFTA

The administration of President Barack Obama will not need to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in spite of statements during his campaign that suggested new provisions should be added to the treaty. Reuters and multiple news sources report that U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk confirmed in an April 20 teleconference that while the administration has some issues with the treaty, it would not be necessary to reopen it. Obama had said during his campaign that new labor and environmental provisions should be added to the agreement and threatened to pull the United States out of NAFTA if Canada and Mexico did not agree to the renegotiation. Since that time, Obama has had discussions about NAFTA with both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Kirk said that all three leaders were "of the mind that we should be looking for opportunities to strengthen NAFTA, and at an appropriate time I will be meeting with our colleagues to try to put a little more form to that."

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