Energy, a Bright Spot in Nafta Talks, Bogged Down by Dispute Over Rule Change

04/24/2018 The Wall Street Journal

energy - oil pumpsThe Trump administration is at odds with American companies over a proposed rule change to the North American Free Trade Agreement that is endangering a bright spot—energy—in contentious treaty talks.

All three Nafta countries—the U.S, Canada and Mexico—agree that a new treaty should aid the burgeoning energy trade. Under negotiation are initiatives to ease the construction of pipelines across borders, to aid U.S. exports of natural gas and to assist American companies opening gas stations or exploring for oil in Mexico, officials say.

The proposals would also prevent Mexico from backsliding on the liberalization of its energy sector at a moment when American industry is seizing a growing role in Mexican energy.

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Trump’s Message to Congress: New Nafta or No Nafta

04/23/2018 The Wall Street Journal

NAFTAThe Trump administration is pushing hard to finish talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement over the next two weeks and is considering bare-knuckle tactics to get Congress to approve a new deal.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly signaled his willingness to withdraw from Nafta entirely if he doesn’t get a renegotiated deal he deems more favorable to American workers.

The administration used the same strategy to bring Canada and Mexico to the table. But some in Congress—especially members of the GOP—say they are prepared to resist the approach if it is turned on them.

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Mexican economy key in driving forward plastics industry throughout NAFTA region, study says

04/18/2018 Plastics Today

plastics.jpgRecent developments in shale gas extraction have stimulated the polymer market in the NAFTA region by providing cheap polymer feedstock and facilitating an increase in domestic manufacturing productivity through low energy and operational costs. That is one of the big contributing factors to the growth of the flexible packaging market in North America, according to a new report from AMI International, a consultancy based in Bristol, UK.

The report, Polymer Demand in NAFTA,covers the third largest regional polymer market in the world and includes the world’s second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Overall, the North American polymer market is forecast to grow 2.7% a year through 2022, with a moderate variation between the slowest growing market of Canada and fast-growing Mexico. Home to some of the industry’s leading polymer producers with pioneering production capabilities, the technological prowess in the U.S. has enabled development across the entire plastics supply chain, the report noted.

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Dollar Slips Against Mexican, Canadian Currencies

04/16/2018 The Wall Street Journal

120px-20_Dollars_art3The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso rose against the dollar Monday, reflecting fresh optimism on trade negotiations with the U.S.

The dollar was recently down 0.1% against the Mexican peso to 18.03, its lowest level since late September. The U.S. currency was down 0.2% against the Canadian dollar to C$1.2577, hovering near a two-month low.

Some investors have become more optimistic that negotiators are closer to reaching a deal to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, after reports that the Trump administration is hammering out a compromise on auto-industry rules.

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U.S. Seeks Quick Nafta Deal, but Allies Balk as It Gives Little Ground

04/11/2018 The New York Times

manufacutiringThe Trump administration is pushing to reach a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement by the beginning of May. But the timeline could be complicated by its refusal to budge from contentious proposals aimed at bringing manufacturing back to the United States.

The administration has not significantly softened its position on rules that automakers would need to meet to qualify for zero tariffs under Nafta, according to a summary of the American proposal reviewed by The New York Times. While the administration has removed a requirement about the percentage of a car that must be made in the United States, it has added other rules that North American automakers say could be costly and complicated to meet.

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Trudeau Sees ‘Significant’ Progress in Nafta Talks

04/05/2018 Bloomberg

nafta_logoCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Nafta talks have picked up momentum, the latest signal a framework deal could soon be reached.

“We are in a moment where we are moving forward in a significant way, hopefully there will be some good news coming,” Trudeau said Thursday in Quebec City. “Right now, we are having a very productive moment.”

The Canadian dollar briefly erased losses after Trudeau’s comments. It was down 0.2 percent at C$1.2789 versus its U.S. counterpart at 10:45 a.m. Toronto time.

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Canada reports progress on NAFTA, says ‘we’re not there yet’

04/04/2018 Reuters

Chystia_Freeland_2016.jpgMexico, Canada and the United States have made good progress in their bid to modernize the NAFTA trade pact but still have work to do, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday.

Freeland also said she would be flying to Washington for a meeting on Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is pushing hard for a quick deal in principle to finish before a July 1 presidential election in Mexico.

The three members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could announce by mid-April the outlines of a settlement that would likely tackle the key issue of autos content while leaving other contentious chapters to be dealt with later, say sources familiar with the matter.

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