Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trudeau turns attention to Mexico in midst of tensions over NAFTA

Trudeau turns attention to Mexico in midst of tensions over NAFTA

"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 USA business leaders in Mexico City aimed at pursuing strategies of defending NAFTA.

Canada and Mexico want their companies to be able to bid on more US federal and state government contracts, but this is at odds with Trump's "Buy American" agenda. "So we'll see what happens with Nafta, but I've been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta". Over half the products in Mexican supermarkets are USA and Canadian imports, he explains to AS/COA Online Editor-in-Chief Carin Zissis.

North American Free Trade Agreement negotiators are set to cover the hard issue of government procurement on Thursday as they try to revamp the pact that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to terminate.

Before the renegotiation began in August, many business and farm groups hoped the Trump administration would settle for tweaking rather than abandoning the trade deal — updating it, for example, to reflect the rise of e-commerce.

American and Mexican officials say they want a re-negotiated deal by December.

"We all understand that it has worked", he said of the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, before adding, "As we think about redoing trade agreements between Canada, the USA and Mexico, there is opportunity for improvement".

The Chamber estimates that about 14m U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, and more than $1bn in commerce is conducted daily across the southern and northern borders.

Trudeau later said he was optimistic that an agreement would be reached.

Bitcoin smashes $5000 ceiling to hit another all-time high
One explanation for why bitcoin is so volatile is that not enough people are trading it to keep prices stable. Despite this, Goldman Sachs is open to the Bitcoin currency and is exploring a bitcoin trading operation .

With a nationalist economic agenda, Trump has denounced the agreement as a job destroyer and a "disaster" for the United States, vowing to reverse offshoring by renegotiating the treaty.

Trump wants it to be 85 percent, including 50 percent from the U.S. The Chamber of Commerce called that a "poison pill" in the NAFTA talks.

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

So the administration has been seeking to ensure that more auto production be made in America to receive NAFTA benefits, that more government contracts in the NAFTA bloc go to USA companies and that NAFTA expire unless the countries agreed every few years to extend it.

Under current rules, at least 62% of the parts in a vehicle sold in North America must come from the region to avoid being hit with taxes at the border.

Raising Mexican wages is one U.S. negotiating objective, a U.S. Trade Rep's fact sheet says, along with eliminating the ISDS. The United States takes in three quarters of Canadian exports, but trade relations have been strained since Trump's inauguration earlier this year. The talks are scheduled to conclude October 16.

An auto-parts industry executive warned Wednesday that tightening the rules of origin for cars will add complexity and costs.

One of the most contentious USA proposals is around so-called rules of origin for vehicles, which govern what share of a auto must be built within NAFTA countries to receive the pact's benefits.

Like this: