Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Canada Pledges to Stick With NAFTA Talks, Mexico Works on Plan B

US Proposes Limited Lifespan of Future Trade Deals During NAFTA Talks Canada Pledges to Stick With NAFTA Talks, Mexico Works on Plan B
Dexter Carr | 14 October, 2017, 00:14

In his address to the Mexican Senate, Prime Minister Trudeau underlined the importance of progressive trade and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement for the benefit of all three partners - Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

The Trump administration on Friday demanded that US -made content account for half the value of the cars and trucks sold under the North American Free Trade Agreement, raising further doubts about any potential deal to renew the pact.

Canada and Mexico, the other two members of the pact, strongly oppose the idea on the grounds that it will disrupt the highly-integrated continental auto industry.

Although sources briefed on the talks describe the mood as sour, Mexican and Canadian politicians say there is no question of leaving the table for now. Trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico has quadrupled under NAFTA, now topping $1.2 trillion a year.

One of the sources said the USA wants to increase the North American content requirement for trucks, autos and large engines to 85 percent from 62.5 percent.

His administration has land-mined the renegotiation he triggered with controversial proposals, including tightening the "rules of origin" to demand certain amounts of American-made content in products, scrapping NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism and the "sunset clause".

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Canada had been expecting extreme demands from the US, after President Donald Trump said Canadian dairy rules were "unfair" to American farmers back in April.

The proposal for a so-called sunset clause - just one of a series of USA initiatives that are opposed by NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico - only served to increase uncertainty about the future of the deal.

He says such a proposal would prompt many auto companies to consider simply ramping up production in Asia and paying the necessary tariff.

Meade's comments drove the peso to a almost five-month low of 18.92 against the dollar, a fall of more than 1 percent in the session.

Canadian officials also said it was too soon to write off the deal-making process.

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