The US plans to start talks with Mexico and Canada over Nafta “as soon as practicable”, the Trump administration said on Thursday.
The letter to congressional leaders provided formal notice of the administration’s intent to move forward with a campaign pledge to reform the 1990s trade deal.
Mr Trump earlier threatened to end the agreement, calling it a job “killer”.
Thursday’s letter said the deal needs “modernisation”.
In 2016, Canada and Mexico were America’s second and third-largest trade partners after China.
US trade with the two countries has more than tripled since Nafta went into effect in 1994, with more than $1 trillion goods and services exchanged each year.
But tension has been mounting under Mr Trump, who made tough-on-trade talk a hallmark of his campaign.
In January, he withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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