Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Trump muses about pulling out of NAFTA as Trudeau arrives in Washington

Trump muses about pulling out of NAFTA as Trudeau arrives in Washington

"We have to protect our workers, and, in all fairness, the Prime Minister wants to protect Canada and his people also".

But Trump was vague on whether the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks, which resumed in Virginia, Wednesday, would succeed.

But despite the U.S. threatening to withdraw from the agreement that's been in effect since 1994, Trudeau remained optimistic that the U.S., Canada and Mexico can reach a "win-win-win" solution.

"It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will", he said. He'll meet with the deal's other major player, President Enrique Pena Nieto, on Thursday in Mexico City.

Mr. Trump said Canada shouldn't fear an end to NAFTA. The first one was on government procurement known as Buy American, which basically said we're going to cut back how much Canadian and Mexicans can participate in our government procurement processes here in the USA but by the way, we want you and Canada and Mexico to allow more USA participation on your side, so I think both Canada and Mexico said we're not so sure about that. "I think it is going to work out very well for both countries".

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The proposal came during a meeting at the White House between the two leaders and eight of their most senior advisers.

Trump has previously mused that NAFTA might be a dead agreement if the USA does not get what it wants, reflecting the oft-repeated mantra of the president's America First policy.

Trudeau insisted that NAFTA talks kicked off in "good faith" Wednesday, although Trump has refused to commit to the pact.

And in what sounded like a direct shot at Trump, he said: "We're not negotiating this treaty on social media or through Twitter".

"There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal", Donohue said at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, where he said the "existential threat" to NAFTA threatened regional security.

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Washington has slapped duties on Canadian aircraft and lumber.

Mexican officials are also adopting increasingly tough rhetoric as the odds have risen that NAFTA could be in trouble. -Mexican relations and affect bilateral cooperation in other areas. "There would no doubt be the necessary cooperation for our own interests, but there wouldn't be any volunteering of support for things that go beyond what our own national security requires". It's not clear what would happen after that. The Trump administration is demanding that change as well.

The Canadian government and Bombardier accused Boeing of manipulating the USA trade remedy system to try to prevent a new competitor from selling in the key United States aviation market.

There are multiple sticking points in the talks, some of which were raised at meetings Trudeau held earlier Wednesday with the key House of Representatives committee that oversees trade.

Donohue singled out plans to make automakers source more parts in North America, as well as proposed changes to the dispute resolution mechanism as obstacles to NAFTA's renewal.

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As an example, Guajardo said Mexico's share of the USA textile market had actually fallen to half of its pre-NAFTA level, because even though the US lifted tariffs on Mexico, it also lowered them on China and Vietnam.

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