NAFTA: Donald Trump refuses to commit to trade pact

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.

Victor Herrera, who's spent 35 years covering Latin American financial markets, warns that NAFTA's demise would have major effects.

Trudeau officials deny Trump is targeting Canada as part of the NAFTA talks, saying the airliner and softwood disputes have been rumbling on for years.

"Neither Mexico nor Canada nor major elements within the USA business community and government want to see NAFTA die", Meyer says.

"Growth could be 1 percent higher if the country had better accountability and more transparency". The business lobby group said there were "several poison pill proposals" put on the table by the U.S. that could tank the renegotiations.

But Mexico has always been the lone developing country in the trade pact, with wages that are significantly lower than in Canada or the U.S. Critics say this fact gives Mexico an unfair advantage in NAFTA - a criticism that President Trump has echoed. According to reports by Canadian media, Prime Minister Trudeau told President Trump behind closed doors that his preferred option was to modernize the continental accord. Still, to this day, President Trump has seemed more interested in placing "poison pills" and renewing reckless threats to withdraw entirely from this mutually beneficial trade agreement, rather than working with our worldwide allies and neighbors to find solutions that directly aids American production and labor.

Further, "attempts by Boeing to put tens of thousands of aerospace workers out of work across Canada is not something we look on positively".


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

Some observers said that with the United States' demands, it is hard to see how the negotiators could reach an agreement.

An updated NAFTA must account for the digital economy, make progress on customs rules, beef up intellectual property protections and improve market access for USA dairy producers, Brady said. "It makes sense to modernize it", said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Trudeau would "explain really clearly to the President. that Canada is not America's problem".

He cited in particular a provision to allow the agreement to expire in five years unless all parties agreed to extend it.

"We are much worse off with a bad deal than without a deal", said Guillermo Vogel, Vice President of Steelmaker Tenaris, who co-hosted a meeting of Mexican and U.S. business leaders in Mexico City aimed at pursuing strategies of defending NAFTA.


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