Business groups raise alarms about Trump's direction on trade

Business groups raise alarms about Trump's direction on trade

Business groups raise alarms about Trump's direction on trade

U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators are meeting in Arlington, Va., this week for a fourth round to try to revise the 23-year-old agreement, which allows the tariff-free flow of vehicles and parts across the three borders.

He said it was important to make sure the populations affected understand how the treaty benefits them. "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".

The trade negotiations this week in Washington have gotten off to a rocky start, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warning that the Trump administration might be sabotaging the talks with unrealistic proposals. Levy said. "Or are they going to take this as a pretext and say: 'We tried negotiations; they failed".

Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a NAFTA deal but noted that Canadians must be "ready for anything".

"We share a series of values with Canada: high wages, rigorous environmental standards, individual freedoms, and a commitment to shared prosperity".

"These will be met with widespread opposition from Canada and Mexico".

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

The pomp and circumstance that greeted Trudeau at the airport was followed by a sombre wreath-laying ceremony at a monument commemorating Mexico's efforts to beat back an American invasion in the 1850s _ an apt image as both Canada and Mexico now contemplate how to withstand new USA strong-arming efforts over trade.

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The figure is dwarfed by their trade with the U.S.: more than $480 billion previous year for Mexico and more than $540 billion for Canada. Mexico could leave NAFTA and have the strength to move on without any serious long-term structural damage to the economy, he said. Scheduled talks in this session have been extended by two days to Tuesday.

On automotive rules of origin, NAFTA negotiators face tough new USA demands to increase regional vehicle content to 85 percent from 62.5 percent, with 50 percent required from the United States, according to people briefed on the plan.

The hard issue of rules of origin will be addressed mostly at the end of the current talks, according to a schedule obtained by Reuters.

Some trade observers said it is hard to see how negotiators could reach an agreement given US demands that many see as nonstarters.

Higgins serves as vice-ranking member on the House Committee on Ways and Means, where he also serves as a member of the subcommittee on trade. The U.S. auto parts industry employs about 870,000 workers.

"Mexico is much bigger than NAFTA", Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told the Mexican Senate earlier this week.

While better than a bad deal, Vogel said the failure of NAFTA would be a "lose-lose" situation, and that U.S. -Mexico trade without it could lead to a U.S. trade deficit larger than the current $64 billion.

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