Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

NAFTA talks focus on procurement amid doubts over deal chances

NAFTA talks focus on procurement amid doubts over deal chances

Although Trudeau officials were confident Trump would mostly target Mexico as the three nations started to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Washington has slapped duties on Canadian Bombardier airliners and lumber exports in recent months and talked tough on dairy and wine.

Many in Mexico have said that it is better to move forward without a trade agreement than to "submit to an evil agreement".

Oil prices have suffered from data released late Wednesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showing a surprise build in United States crude inventories and gained little from a report by the International Energy Agency, released Thursday, suggesting the global oil market will be in balance next year despite rising output.

President Donald Trump has criticized NAFTA for luring USA manufacturing jobs to low-wage Mexico and has vowed to quit the pact or revise it to reduce his country's $64 billion trade deficit with its southern neighbor.

Further, "attempts by Boeing to put tens of thousands of aerospace workers out of work across Canada is not something we look on positively".

But U.S. President Donald Trump has warned he may terminate the 1994 NAFTA deal because he says it does not serve U.S. economic interests.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday accused Trump's administration of trying to sabotage the talks with "poison pill proposals", including demands for more favorable treatment for the U.S. side on vehicle production, and a "sunset clause" to force regular negotiations.

The CEO meeting ran in parallel to talks near Washington aimed at refreshing the 1994 agreement, with Mexico, Canada and businesses united in opposition to a number of radical USA proposals they say would damage the North American economy.

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On the U.S. side the event was co-chaired by Fedex Freight's CEO Michael Ducker and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue. Mexico strongly opposes such a move, which would damage its own auto industry.

Rep. Richard Neal of MA, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said he hopes NAFTA will expand Canadian market access for USA cultural industries and "will be an opportunity to update intellectual property rules". The negotiations were extended on Wednesday by two days to Oct 17.

The proposals call for North American content, overall, to rise to 85 percent from the current 62.5 percent.

Mexico and Canada do some $20 billion a year in bilateral trade.

Americans", she said, and acknowledged that changes to the deal would "of course be opposed by entrenched Washington lobbyists and trade associations.

"There's a path to be optimistic", he said. -Canada deal that would leave Mexico out entirely.

"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.

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