NAFTA: Donald Trump refuses to commit to trade pact

NAFTA: Donald Trump refuses to commit to trade pact

The most powerful USA business lobby accused the Trump administration of making "poison pill proposals" to sabotage NAFTA on Tuesday, as Mexico's foreign minister said the demise of the regional trade pact would hurt bilateral cooperation.

Canada is the number one market for USA exports, accounting for more than half-trillion dollars in bilateral trade a year ago, but President Trump threatened to leave the NAFTA deal, citing "fairness".

Trade experts predict the fourth round of the talks will probably stall as the US aggressively pushes for controversial changes to a rule governing how cars are made.

Pressed over whether the NAFTA pact could degenerate into a series of bilateral deals, Trudeau said that his administration was "ready for anything and will continue to protect Canadian interests". -Mexican relations and affect bilateral cooperation in other areas.

Brady cited expanded market access for US dairy farmers, stronger intellectual property protection and customs barriers as key to reaching a deal.

Videgaray spoke after Trump warned again that he would like to scrap the treaty that created one of the world's biggest trade blocs.

"I think Justin understands this, if we can't make a deal, it will be terminated and that will be fine", the president said.

The Mexican peso weakened for the fifth straight session on Tuesday amid the increased tensions, and hit its weakest level against the dollar since early June.

Visiting Washington on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he thinks "it is very important and very possible to get a win-win-win" from the NAFTA talks.

Trump's hardline position did not appear to have wide support ahead of the talks, with many USA businesses and farmers lining up to back the existing agreement.

On Tuesday, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donahue accused the Trump administration of taking "poison pill proposals" to the negotiations.

Trudeau insisted that NAFTA talks kicked off in "good faith" Wednesday, although Trump has refused to commit to the pact. Another lawmaker, Richard Neal, urged Canada to open its restricted market to US cultural industries.

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US officials have suggested incorporating a sunset clause in NAFTA that would kill it unless it was renegotiated every five years. In addition, the administration is seeking eliminating dispute resolution processes.

"When North America wins, America wins and the American people win as well", Mr. Brady said.

Perdue added that there are also issues with poultry access.

Automakers in Mexico say excessive content requirements could do serious damage to the industry's competitiveness.

As an example, Guajardo said Mexico's share of the US textile market had actually fallen to half of its pre-NAFTA level, because even though the USA lifted tariffs on Mexico, it also lowered them on China and Vietnam. The automotive trade deficit with Mexico was $74 billion.

"It's the wrong focus and is impossible to achieve without crippling the economy", he said.

Trump has maintained his threat to walk out on the fourth round of talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, even amid rising opposition at home to his hard-line stance.

But US and Mexican corporate CEOs gathered in Mexico City said they would be better off with no Nafta than be saddled with a "bad agreement".

The U.S. had a $63-billion trade deficit with Mexico a year ago, compared with a surplus of $7.7 billion with Canada.

"The president has strongly criticized this agreement for years". -Canada deal that would leave Mexico out in the cold.

"To rebalance will require substantial change and not mere tweaking. We will do no less", he added. The president has vowed to bring jobs and investment back to America.

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