Perry says renegotiating NAFTA needed because of U.S. energy bounty

November 15, 2017

At appearances in Houston this week, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said it makes sense for the United States, Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, in part because of the enormous new supply of U.S. oil and gas locked in once-inaccessible shale rocks.

Asked whether renegotiating NAFTA – a thorny and potentially yearlong process that the Trump Administration began this summer – would affect energy trade between the three countries, Perry said the renegotiation was a "good process; it's a healthy process."

"Fifteen years ago, they told us we found all the oil and gas there was to find and that the days of being able to develop oil and gas were over with," Perry said, "Well, that's not the case. So does it make sense to sit down with our colleagues in Canada and Mexico to renegotiate a new North America Free Trade Agreement? Yes, I think it does."

Speaking alongside Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Mexico's Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, Perry called speculation that the United States, Canada and Mexico would not be able to agree on terms for a new cross-border trade deal "far-fetched."

"Our friends in Mexico and Canada are pretty good negotiators," he said. "We not only will have a good agreement, it'll be a fair agreement, and the private sector can know there will be contract in hand so when they come to invest in Mexico or Canada or the United States, there will be a good framework in place in which they can do business."

On Wednesday, at an energy conference...

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