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NAFTA: Donald Trump refuses to commit to trade pact

13 October 2017, 12:42 | Marta Robbins

Mexico readies for worst as 4th round of NAFTA talks open

Trump: Trade deal possible with Canada, minus Mexico

President Donald Trump's trade negotiators entered the latest round of NAFTA talks Wednesday under growing pressure inside their own country to step back from a confrontational stance that's left the USA isolated at the negotiating table.

Asked during his appearance with Trudeau whether NAFTA was dead, Trump said, "We'll see what happens". President Donald Trump has threatened recently to withdraw completely from the deal, which was enacted in 1994 to create a free-trade zone between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The business lobby group said there were "several poison pill proposals" put on the table by the USA that could tank the renegotiations. Trudeau has said he is optimistic about the deal's fate but admitted there was room for improvement.

Today, Prime Minister Trudeau arrives in Mexico for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Further, "attempts by Boeing to put tens of thousands of aerospace workers out of work across Canada is not something we look on positively. Canada will continue to work with the U.S.to modernize NAFTA so that people in Canada, the United States, and Mexico can benefit from good, well-paying jobs and increased opportunities to provide for their families".

As the trade talks began Wednesday, Trump, seated in the Oval Office beside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, said it was "possible" that the United States would drop out of NAFTA.

Trudeau told reporters in Washington DC that he agreed with the U.S. president that that the NAFTA trade deal needed to be revamped and that any new agreement needed to "give citizens opportunities to succeed". Both leaders are keen to see talks succeed.

The part supplier group said Thursday that US automakers would be at a disadvantage if they face higher tariffs than their counterparts in other countries outside of North America do.

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Many in Mexico have said that it is better to move forward without a trade agreement than to "submit to an evil agreement". "It makes sense to modernize it", said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. proposals include limiting the number of federal government contracts that Mexican and Canadian companies can win, a provision that would cause the deal to automatically expire in five years unless all three countries vote to renew, and changes in how much of a product needs to be made in North America to come under Nafta protections.

The U.S.is expected to propose substantially raising the regional requirement, from 62.5 percent now, and potentially add a U.S. -specific content requirement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned against so-called "poison pill" proposals by the U.S., including the sunset clause. USA negotiators have countered with a proposal that would effectively grant the other countries less access, people familiar with the talks say.

If the North American Free Trade Agreement survives the renegotiation effort, The United Kingdom may be interested in joining the pact.

On Thursday, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) said proposed changes to NAFTA would likely increase the cost of vehicles.



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