On July 19, 2017, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced arrangements for the first round of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The announcement said:
The first round of the negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico will take place in Washington, D.C. from August 16 – 20, 2017.
The negotiations immediately follows the 90-day consultation period with Congress and the public initiated on May 18, 2017. On that day, Ambassador Lighthizer notified Congress of President Trump’s intent to renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for America’s workers, farmers, businesses and manufacturers.
Ambassador Lighthizer also announced that John Melle, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere, will serve as Chief Negotiator for the NAFTA negotiations. In his role as Chief Negotiator, Melle will be responsible for the day-to-day negotiations at the staff level.
Since joining USTR in 1988, John Melle has held a number of positions covering Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. As Assistant USTR for the Western Hemisphere, he is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the United States’ trade policy for the region.