Mike Crapo wants to see the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiated but says having some kind of trade deal with our neighbors is important. “We do need a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico,” Crapo said last week, in a brief interview during a visit to Lincoln Elementary School in Twin Falls. Now Idaho’s senior U.S. senator, one of Crapo’s first votes in Washington was as a congressman against the original adoption in 1993 of NAFTA. President Donald Trump frequently criticized free trade agreements, particularly NAFTA, during the 2016 campaign. One of Trump’s first actions as president was to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the U.S., Mexico and Canada are in the process of renegotiating NAFTA. Trade is a fast-growing part of Idaho’s economy — the value of exports by Idaho companies more than doubled from $2 billion to $4.3 billion a year from 2003 to 2015,

— Canada is the state’s largest trading partner, and exports from Idaho to Canada and Mexico have skyrocketed since NAFTA was approved. Opinions differ as to whether the treaty has been an overall positive or negative for the state. The Idaho Legislature passed a joint memorial in 2008 calling on the U.S. to renegotiate the treaty, blaming it for a number of economic ills and saying it was unfair to U.S. producers and

weren’t met. Crapo said Idaho’s lumber industry has been damaged by competition from Canadian softwood lumber. He said Idaho has also had problems getting its potatoes into the Mexican market, as well as dealing with what he says is unfair competition from subsidized Mexican sugar. He would also like to see changes to the dispute resolution mechanism in the treaty. Trump has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if a deal to the U.S.’s satisfaction can’t be struck — he said the U.S. may walk away from the deal at a rally in Arizona two days before Crapo spoke to the Times-News, and has

then. Crapo said he interpreted Trump’s remarks as meaning the U.S. may take a step back and end up with an entirely new agreement, not that the U.S. would end up without a trade deal.

Mike Crapo wants to see the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiated but says having some kind of trade deal with our neighbors is important.

“We do need a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico,” Crapo said last week, in a brief interview during a visit to Lincoln Elementary School in Twin Falls.

Now Idaho’s senior U.S. senator, one of Crapo’s first votes in Washington was as a congressman against the original adoption in 1993 of NAFTA. President Donald Trump frequently criticized free trade agreements, particularly NAFTA, during the 2016 campaign. One of Trump’s first actions as president was to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the U.S., Mexico and Canada are in the process of renegotiating NAFTA.

Trade is a fast-growing part of Idaho’s economy — the value of exports by Idaho companies more than doubled from $2 billion to $4.3 billion a year from 2003 to 2015, according to the Idaho Department of Commerce — Canada is the state’s largest trading partner, and exports from Idaho to Canada and Mexico have skyrocketed since NAFTA was approved. Opinions differ as to whether the treaty has been an overall positive or negative for the state. The Idaho Legislature passed a joint memorial in 2008 calling on the U.S. to renegotiate the treaty, blaming it for a number of economic ills and saying it was unfair to U.S. producers and to withdraw from it if certain conditions weren’t met.

Crapo said Idaho’s lumber industry has been damaged by competition from Canadian softwood lumber. He said Idaho has also had problems getting its potatoes into the Mexican market, as well as dealing with what he says is unfair competition from subsidized Mexican sugar. He would also like to see changes to the dispute resolution mechanism in the treaty.

Trump has threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if a deal to the U.S.’s satisfaction can’t be struck — he said the U.S. may walk away from the deal at a rally in Arizona two days before Crapo spoke to the Times-News, and has made other similar comments since then. Crapo said he interpreted Trump’s remarks as meaning the U.S. may take a step back and end up with an entirely new agreement, not that the U.S. would end up without a trade deal.

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