Trade deals to be reviewed from time-to-time: IMF Chief on NAFTA

US President Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign, had been critical of NAFTA.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde on Friday defended the ongoing negotiations of NAFTA, arguing that any trade agreement that is 20 years old requires to be reviewed and revised.

“For a trade agreement, which has been in existence for, what, 20 years now, it is not unusual or unnecessary to actually look into it, go under the skin of the agreement, find out what works, what does not work, what can be improved, what new topics should be considered - given the changes that have affected the markets in the last two decades,” she told journalists at a news conference in Washington.

Lagarde, who served as French commerce and industry minister, finance minister and agriculture minister, in her previous roles, said that trade deals should be reviewed and revised from time-to-time.

The IMF Managing Director said that she thinks trade deals should continuously take changes that are happening into account, in order to be adjusted and for continuing facilitation of trade and to enhance the movement.

However, the sole aim should not be to only increase the movement, she added.

She further said that it has to consider regions, sectors and areas, which are going to be impacted by trade, and to consider the steps that need to be taken for addressing these issues in a bid to help the people adjust, be mobile, relocate and acquire the training which will also help them get benefitted from the situation.

However, the IMF chief refrained from making any direct comments on the state of ongoing negotiations of NAFTA.

“It is underway, and I would refrain from commenting on the current state of negotiations which always, like in any negotiations, involve taking certain positions with allowing maneuvering room and organising the landing area where negotiators want to eventually arrive at,” she said.

NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), which came into effect in 1994, is a deal signed by Canada, the US and Mexico for creating a trilateral trade alliance in North America.

US President Donald Trump, during his presidential campaign, had been critical of the NAFTA. The present negotiations were required after President Trump threatened to withdraw from the pact if re-negotiations didn’t take place.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Oct 13, 2017 12:00 IST