Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Trump Calls Trudeau `Great Friend' as Nafta Tension Remain High

Trump Calls Trudeau `Great Friend' as Nafta Tension Remain High Trump Calls Trudeau `Great Friend' as Nafta Tension Remain High
Melinda Barton | 12 October, 2017, 21:34

During his presidential campaign and early in his term, Trump fixated on the auto industry and carmakers investing in Mexico, criticizing companies including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. But some agricultural products would be slapped with with far higher duties, including a 25% hike on shipments of beef, 45% on turkey, 75% on chicken, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup sent to Mexico from the US.

Round 4 of NAFTA talks began Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia. Scheduled talks in this session have been extended by two days to Tuesday.

"What is the administration going to do? Are they going to be patient and work through these things?" asks Phil Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. "If the agreement dies overnight, this is going to have an impact on the daily lives of a lot of people, because all of a sudden there's going to be a scarcity of nearly everything that we consume in Mexico-especially on foodstuffs", says the former office head for S&P's Global Ratings in Mexico City. The National Automobile Dealers Association said it was concerned about any changes that would make cars costlier.

Prime Minister Trudeau met with U.S. President Donald Trump and his advisors in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday in an effort to break a tightening deadlock on negotiations aimed at reforming the trilateral NAFTA agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Yet, Prime Minister Trudeau was told at the meeting that the U.S.is considering scrapping the trade deal and interested in negotiating a new trade agreement with Canada that excludes Mexico.

"We don't hope it will, we don't desire that it will, we don't believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility as we go forward", Ross said.

If NAFTA is terminated, up to 50,000 jobs would be lost, the study showed.

"NAFTA has been a disaster for manufacturing in this country". Consumers have benefited from lower costs.

Other U.S. proposals opposed by Canada, Mexico and U.S. business interests include the five-year sunset provision, radical changes to NAFTA's dispute arbitration systems, changes to intellectual property provisions and new protections for U.S. seasonal produce growers.

Trump, who made trade a key part of his 2016 presidential campaign, has repeatedly criticized Canada, alleging that it unfairly blocks US dairy products and subsidizes its softwood lumber industry.

Quote "There is no relationship in the world quite like the Canada-U.S. relationship".

A so-called "buy American" rule in which Canadian and Mexican firms could not receive government contracts worth more than the government contracts secured by US firms in the other two countries.

Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a NAFTA deal but noted that Canadians must be "ready for anything". For auto parts, the United States' deficit with Mexico was $100 million in 1993; it was 200 times larger by 2016, at $23.8 billion.

"The administration set itself the task of doing a really radical overhaul and having it done by Christmas", says Levy, a former trade adviser to President George W. Bush.