Trump, Trudeau meet at the White House amid new NAFTA talks

Katrina Barker
October 13, 2017

The US president said if there was no deal on the NAFTA, it would be terminated.

Hosting the Canadian prime minister at the Oval Office, Trump said the United States had "a tough negotiation" over NAFTA ahead, which also includes Mexico, adding that it had to be fair to all countries.

"We share a series of values with Canada: high wages, rigorous environmental standards, individual freedoms, and a commitment to shared prosperity".

The White House declined to comment on the NAFTA talks, and the U.S. Trade Representative's press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "So we'll see what happens with Nafta, but I've been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta".

Trudeau will travel to Mexico on Thursday to hold additional NAFTA talks with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto. The business lobby group said there were "several poison pill proposals" put on the table by the U.S. that could tank the renegotiations.

"There's a path to be optimistic", he said.

"I think it's been clear that circumstances are often challenging, and we have to be ready for anything — and we are", Trudeau said.

Britain is now negotiating the terms of its divorce from the European Union though Prime Minister Theresa May is pushing to move onto discussions about a major free trade deal with the world's biggest trading bloc.

Mexico and Canada would fare better because they previously charged higher tariffs than the United States and would revert to those levels.

The study, released as NAFTA negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico meet in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, found that a 35 percent tariff that would be placed on auto parts that are made in the U.S. and shipped to Canada or Mexico without the trade agreement's duty-free treatment would result in a job loss of 25,000 to 50,000 in the parts supplier industry. But Mexican leaders have also warned that talks must conclude early next year before their presidential election campaign gets underway.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday accused Trump's administration of trying to sabotage the talks with "poison pill proposals", including demands for more favorable treatment for the U.S. side on vehicle production, and a "sunset clause" to force regular negotiations. "There are several poison-pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal", Donohue said. "It makes sense to modernize it", said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

The figure is dwarfed by their trade with the USA: more than $480 billion a year ago for Mexico and more than $540 billion for Canada. Under the U.S. proposal, America would require more to be made in the country and less sourced from other members of the block.

The proposals call for North American content, overall, to rise to 85 percent from the current 62.5 percent.

But there is still some uncertainty whether Trump is deploying tough negotiating bluster or is seriously considering scuppering the agreement.

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

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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