8/20/2017 LA Times 

Clinton signing NAFTA

After the opening round of talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement, at least this much is known: The U.S. is pushing for comprehensive changes and racing to meet a tight political calendar.

In a joint statement issued Sunday upon conclusion of the first session, trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico outlined an aggressive schedule for future meetings. They will reconvene Sept. 1-5 in Mexico and then later that month in Canada, to be followed by another round in Washington in October.

The accelerated pace is aimed at wrapping up talks by the end of the year, or early 2018 at the latest, to avoid political complications in Mexico’s presidential vote in the summer and the U.S. midterm elections later in the fall.

But it is far from clear how realistic that timetable is, given the ambitious plans outlined by the Trump administration to rewrite major sections of the 23-year-old pact, including the United States’ much-opposed focus on reducing the country’s trade deficit and strengthening its hand in enforcement.

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U.S. did not detail request for auto rules of origin at NAFTA talks: source

8/19/2017 Reuters 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the opening NAFTA session of talks, the United States did not give precise details of how much it wanted to boost North American content for autos, a source directly familiar with the negotiations said on Saturday.

Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser, this week said Washington wanted tougher rules of origin for autos, which determine how much of a vehicle must be built in the three NAFTA nations.

He also said the United States was seeking new measures to ensure “substantial U.S. content” for autos.

Companies wishing to take advantage of free trade in goods guaranteed by NAFTA must currently meet the 62.5 percent North American content requirement for autos and 60 percent for components.

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What you need to know about NAFTA as it goes through a quarter-life crisis

8/18/2017 The Washington Post

Clinton signing NAFTA

NAFTA: The trade pact has stirred debate and controversy for more than two decades.

President Trump used the North American Free Trade Agreement as a lightning rod during his election campaign last year. At his rallies, Trump called the trade pact — which eliminated almost all tariffs and other trade barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada — a disaster, the worst trade deal in U.S. history. NAFTA, he said, had spurred the decline in the U.S. manufacturing industry and encouraged a wave of illegal immigration from Mexico. As president, he came ever so close to terminating the agreement in April.

Yet while NAFTA looms large in political rhetoric, most Americans probably couldn’t tell you who wrote the pact and why, what’s at stake in its renegotiation and how profoundly it has already influenced their lives.

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Canada and Mexico play defence on Nafta’s future

8/18/2017 Financial Times 

There are many areas — tax cuts, infrastructure spending, healthcare — in which Donald Trump’s grandiose plans have come to nothing. Thus far, the same is true of one of the US president’s foremost obsessions, trade — and specifically, attempting to redress the US deficit with individual countries by changing the rules of trade. Mr Trump has failed to carry out threats to put currency tariffs on China, or to punish US companies that have created jobs overseas. And having made a great song and dance about taking on Beijing, this week’s vaunted announcement about China’s intellectual property violations turned out to be an investigation that is likely to stretch well into next year.

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NAFTA talks must include discussion on fintech: Mexican negotiator

8/16/2017 Reuters 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include a discussion of new financial services, a Mexican negotiator said on Wednesday, singling out so-called fintech companies rapidly gaining ground in the region.

Created 23 years ago, NAFTA includes Canada, Mexico and the United States and is being renegotiated at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump who made a campaign promise to get a better deal for U.S. workers.

Vanessa Rubio, an undersecretary at Mexico’s finance ministry who is taking part in the NAFTA negotiations that began in Washington on Wednesday, said discussions on financial services had found common ground between the three countries.

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What Impact Could a Remade Nafta Have On You?

8/16/2017 The Wall Street Journal Video 

Representatives of the U.S., Canada and Mexico are kicking off talks to renegotiate the North American free trade agreement on Wednesday. The WSJ’s Shelby Holiday looks at how that could change the prices of the cars, tacos and clothes you buy. Photo: Evan Engel


Watch video 

This is what the US, Canada, and Mexico want from renegotiating Nafta

8/16/2017 Quartz

Clinton signing NAFTA

More than 20 years ago, then-US president Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico into law. Today, prodded by president Donald Trump, negotiators from the three countries will start talks to revamp it.

As a presidential candidate, Trump bashed the deal, which went into effect in 1994, as a symbol of all that’s wrong with globalization. He’s since toned down his Nafta criticism and his administration’s stated goals for the renegotiation were milder than expected. But as with all things Trump, how aggressively the administration will promote his “America First” agenda is hard to predict.

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