Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United States negotiator says little progress in NAFTA talks

United States negotiator says little progress in NAFTA talks

Like nearly every broadside over a trade war so far, his latest message was sent in a Twitter post yesterday with little explanation. But if I do make a deal which is fair to the workers and the American people, that would be, I imagine, one of the points that we would negotiate, there will be tariffs on steel for Canada and for Mexico, so we'll see what happens.

"The prime minister also registered his serious concern about the USA administration's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum", said a read-out of the call from the Prime Minister's Office. "Massive relocation of companies & jobs". Trump's decision on March 1 to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum caught negotiators off guard in the middle of the talks over the free-trade deal.

Lighthizer expressed an unprecedented urgency to get a deal.

Canada is the top exporter to the United States of both steel and aluminium.

In a bid to "rebalance" Nafta and boost USA manufacturing, the us wants to require that 85 percent of a typical vehicle be built within Nafta to be traded under the pact, up from the current 62.5 percent, and add a us -specific requirement of 50 percent, while also rewriting what products' origin is tracked.

Washington on Monday said that if Canada and Mexico agreed to their demands in the NAFTA talks, they could be exempted from the proposed steel and aluminium tariffs.

Lighthizer spoke in Mexico City, where the latest round of talks took place.

Toys 'R' Us may liquidate assets, close U.S. stores
Toys R Us is considering liquidating all USA stores amid troubled bankruptcy restructuring, according to multiple media reports. In January, court documents revealed Toys "R" Us planned to shutter as many as 182 stores, including three in San Diego County.

"We need a fundamental shift in how our workplaces function and how women feel protected and safe in those workplaces", he said.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration has offered to exclude Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum as an incentive to reach a deal on a new Nafta before a string of elections make it hard.

Trump was expected to make the tariffs official Thursday at an afternoon ceremony in the Oval Office.

Whether Canada and Mexico's brief reprieve from tariffs will jump-start NAFTA talks or be perceived as coercion to win concessions remains an open question.

In testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee, the Treasury secretary said he has been in contact with his counterparts on the specifics of the tariff proposals and "we're trying to deal with this on a case by case basis".

The German government warned yesterday that a transatlantic trade war would harm both Europe and the USA, urging Washington not to take a "wrong path" after a weekend of aggressive rhetoric.

Like this: