Deal with U.S. on key NAFTA rule closer, Mexico and Canada say

08/01/2018 Reuters

Malpica.PNGThe United States and Mexico are nearing a deal on the key issue of autos content rules at talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexican and Canadian officials said on Wednesday.

Guillermo Malpica, head of the trade and NAFTA office for the Mexican government, said the United States had “started showing more flexibility last week” on autos content and other topics at the negotiations, which have dragged on for almost a year.

Speaking to reporters, Malpica said “we are getting close” to an agreement on the so-called autos rules of origin, which dictate how much of a vehicle must be made in the three NAFTA nations to qualify for duty-free status.

Canadian trade negotiator Colin Bird told an auto industry conference in Michigan on Wednesday that NAFTA negotiators are making progress on auto content rules, and endorsed the concept of linking those rules to improving workers’ wages.

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Mexico, Canada Stress Common Front in NAFTA Talks

07/25/2018 The New York Times

canada mexicoMexican and Canadian officials said Wednesday that talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement will remain a three-way negotiation, despite suggestions by U.S. President Donald Trump that he might pursue separate trade deals with both countries.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said “Canada and Mexico not only share geography, history and friendship, but also principles and common goals, and we are a team and act as a team.”

Visiting Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said “Canada very much believes in NAFTA as a trilateral agreement.”

“While the ultimate deal will be trilateral … it’s completely normal to have a bilateral meeting,” Freeland said.

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Mexico and Canada insist on NAFTA as a three-way deal

07/25/2018 Reuters

Canada-Mexico.PNGCanadian and Mexican officials insisted on Wednesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement remain a trilateral pact and reiterated their opposition to U.S. calls for a so-called “sunset clause” that could end the deal after five years.

After a meeting in Mexico City, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said they remained optimistic about negotiations to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact.

Talks began last August but stalled in the run-up to the Mexican presidential election. That was due, at least in part, to U.S. demands for sweeping changes in the auto sector and for a sunset clause, which would put the deal forming one of the world’s largest trading blocs up for renewal every five years.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the pact if he cannot renegotiate it to better serve his country’s interests.

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Canada plays down Trump comments on NAFTA, sees trilateral deal

07/19/2018 Reuters

canada flag I.A.M. photo

Canada on Thursday played down U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he might seek separate trade deals with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, noting he has made similar comments before.

Trump said on Wednesday the United States might hammer out a trade deal with Mexico, and then do a separate one with Canada later. Talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement are moving slowly.

“From the outset President Trump has articulated a desire to do bilateral deals rather than multilateral deals so his comment wasn’t a tremendous surprise,” said David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States.

“(NAFTA) is a tripartite agreement, we’d like to keep it that way … I am still fully confident we are going to end up with a trilateral deal and not two separate bilateral deals,” he told a televised news conference in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

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Mexico says Canada’s top diplomat to meet Lopez Obrador, discuss trade

07/19/2018 Reuters

canada mexicoCanadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will meet Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and discuss NAFTA trade talks during a visit to the country on July 25, the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Freeland will also meet with outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto as well as Mexico’s economy and foreign ministers, the statement added.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States will seek to reach a bilateral trade deal with Mexico, and then do a separate one with Canada later, sowing fresh doubts about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Mexico, Canada welcome hosting 2026 World Cup with U.S. despite frayed ties

06/14/18 Reuters

confed-cup_2005_-_laolawelleThe leaders of Mexico and Canada gleefully cheered winning the right to host the 2026 World Cup jointly with the United States on Wednesday, emphasizing unity at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has frayed relations with the two neighbors during his 18 months in office.

Trump, who as part of a tougher U.S. immigration policy has called for a wall to be built on the country’s southern border and paid for by Mexico, just days ago personally insulted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over a trade dispute.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro suggested to reporters on a conference call that bringing the three countries together was more of a challenge than any Trump effect.

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Canadian PM open to compromise on disputed NAFTA sunset clause

06/11/2018 Reuters

trudeauCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a U.S. demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact.

U.S. President Donald Trump – who regularly threatens to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement – insists that Canada and Mexico agree to a sunset clause that would allow a member nation to withdraw after five years.

Although Canada and Mexico say the idea is unworkable, Trump told reporters earlier on Saturday that the new deal would contain such a provision. Trudeau rejected the idea.

“There will not be a sunset clause … we will not, cannot sign a trade deal that expires automatically every five years,” he told a news conference at the end of a Group of Seven summit in Quebec.

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