Mexican farmers, workers protest NAFTA

Mexican farmers, workers protest NAFTA
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Mexican farmers and workers reportedly came out by the thousands on Wednesday to demand the dissolution of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Various Mexican unions and small farmers say the competition created by the 1994 trade deal has had a severely negative impact on smaller farms. 

"The great loser in these last 23 years has been Mexico, above all, the small farmers," a spokesman for a peasant farmers union told Reuters

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The demonstrations came as the U.S., Mexico and Canada kicked off renegotiations on the trade deal, which has created a $1.1 trillion trading zone among the three nations, on Wednesday. 

The views held by those protesting NAFTA south of the border mirror the views of those in the U.S. rustbelt to the north, who often say their farms and business have been forgotten amid the trade deal.  

President Trump frequently lambasted the deal on the campaign trail in 2016, calling it "the worst trade deal" in history. 

However, the president decided against moving to terminate the deal and instead is working to renegotiate it. 

"I want to be clear that [Trump] is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters," U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE said on Wednesday. 

U.S. lawmakers, business groups and labor unions have also called for the deal to be updated and rewritten.