The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has announced that the first round of renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will occur August 16-20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Reportedly, the plan is to hold seven rounds of talks at three-week intervals, at alternating sites among the three countries, with a goal of completing the negotiations by early 2018.

John Melle, the assistant U.S. trade representative for the Western Hemisphere, will serve as the U.S. chief negotiator for the NAFTA negotiations. Since joining USTR in 1988, 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.