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Government/Politics

What Abbott Is Seeking In A NAFTA Deal

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The Texas business community is focused on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, as the Trump administration signals it is nearing a deal. Governor Greg Abbott is now weighing in to make sure Texas doesn’t lose certain trade protections.

Abbott asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to keep two original provisions of the pact that he says greatly benefits both Texas businesses and consumers.

In his letter, Abbott said the Investor-State Dispute Settlement allows investors to seek financial relief if the pact’s policies are violated.

Economist Ray Perryman says the protections are critical elements of the NAFTA pact.

“If things don’t work out the agreement states is supposed to, then the private sector needs a way to address those difficulties,” Perryman said.

Abbott's letter also stressed the importance of NAFTA’s Rules of Origin, which allows U.S. products containing foreign components put together in Texas to qualify for the NAFTA tariff exemption.  If the Rules of Origin exemption is eliminated, he said, the Trump administration could impose tariffs on all parts coming from outside the U.S.

MORE | Read the letter from Gov. Abbott

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1