NAFTA Watch: Trump’s Mismanagement of the Trade Negotiations

American Oversight is investigating President Trump's handling of the renegotiation of NAFTA. Serious questions have been raised about whether the administration is mismanaging the negotiations or putting special interests ahead of American workers. 

What We’re Seeking:

  • Calendars, meeting invitations, talking points, and communications from U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and their aides.
  • Communications between top trade officials at USTR and the Department of Commerce with lobbyists and special interest groups.
  • Negotiations and communications with top Canadian and Mexican trade negotiators.
  • Communications with Trump administration allies, including DC interest groups, governors and Breitbart News.


During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and pledged to renegotiate it to benefit American workers and businesses, promising ‘the best negotiators’ and the ‘best deal’.

His time so far in office has told a different story. After threatening to pull out of NAFTA altogether, President Trump was convinced by aides (and a few charts) that doing so would damage the American economy. The renegotiation that was subsequently launched has been disastrous and marked by outlandish, and frequently shifting, negotiating positions from the Trump administration and attacks on key allies and trading partners.

American Oversight is investigating these negotiations to determine whether the Trump administration is tanking the negotiations – either intentionally or through incompetence – and whether favored industries and groups are getting sweetheart deals.