Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Trudeau in Mexico for talks after tense USA trip

Trudeau in Mexico for talks after tense USA trip Trudeau in Mexico for talks after tense USA trip
Lillian Steele | 13 October, 2017, 00:40

All the fanfare was surely a welcome distraction from NAFTA, which experts and observers alike say could well be on the verge of collapse _ a possibility Trudeau seemed to acknowledge Wednesday after meeting with the trade deal's most prominent enemy: U.S. President Donald Trump.

Hosting the Canadian prime minister at the Oval Office, Trump said the USA had "a tough negotiation" over NAFTA ahead, which also includes Mexico, adding that it had to be fair to all countries. SCAN TO WATCH Trump open to US-Canada trade deal. But speaking to media after the talks, the Prime Minister said he is open to a new two country accord if that is what it takes to save free trade between the US and Canada. "So we'll see what happens with NAFTA", Trump said, adding that it "has to be fair to both countries".

Trudeau was heading to Mexico City after leaving Washington for talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

"As we prepare to leave the European Union, we will seek to transition all existing European Union trade arrangements to ensure that the United Kingdom maintains the greatest amount of certainty, continuity and stability in our trade and investment relationships", a spokesman for the Department for International Trade said. Trudeau has said he is optimistic about the deal's fate but admitted there was room for improvement.

Business leaders attending a U.S. -Mexico CEO conference said that no North American Free Trade Agreement would be better than a bad deal, as industry braces for the end of a treaty that drives $1 trillion in annual trade.

A rocky start to talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington this week is raising questions about the 23-year-old trade accord's fate.

"Even worse, withdrawal from NAFTA would put at stake millions of American jobs in every sector of the US economy, the competitiveness of USA -produced goods and services, and our country's standing as a global economic leader", Bolten said.

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. The United States takes in three quarters of Canadian exports, but trade relations have been strained since Trump's inauguration earlier this year.

NAFTA negotiators face tough new USA demands to increase regional content for autos to 85 percent from 62.5 percent, with 50 percent from the United States, according to people briefed on the plan.

Canada and Mexico want their companies to be able to bid on more USA federal and state government contracts, but this is at odds with Trump's "Buy American" agenda. Under the USA proposal, America would require more to be made in the country and less sourced from other members of the block.

Ottawa and Bombardier in turn accused Boeing of manipulating the US Trade Remedy System to try to stop a rival from selling on the US aviation market.

On Thursday, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) said proposed changes to NAFTA would likely increase the cost of vehicles. "There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal". "We have always understood that draining the swamp would be controversial in Washington".

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