Where things stand on NAFTA

09/04/18 Politico

sea tradeThe Trump administration might have told Congress that it will sign a free trade deal with Mexico in late November, but its work is far from done. The three-country NAFTA still exists, so to move ahead the administration will need signoff from Canada, unless Congress agrees to withdraw from the trade agreement — something it’s almost assuredly not going to do without a replacement deal with both countries. And Mexico itself is pushing hard for Canada to remain in the pact.

If the administration does try to move ahead with just Mexico — as Trump has threatened — lawmakers and business groups are expected to push back and say the president only had a mandate to renegotiate NAFTA. Still, the administration doesn’t have to release text of the agreement until 60 days before it signs the deal. That potentially gives it until the end of September to reach a final NAFTA deal with both Canada and Mexico.

Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland will be back in Washington on Wednesday to try again to reach a deal on the remaining sticking points, most notably dairy. Also a point of contention: whether to keep a forum that allows NAFTA countries to challenge each other’s “trade remedy” tariffs, which are put in place to counteract allegedly unfair trading practices like dumping. Read the full rundown from POLITICO’s Doug Palmer, Sabrina Rodriguez and Adam Behsudi here.

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Nafta Ministers Set to Meet Again Amid Intensified Push for Deal

04/23/2018 Bloomberg

NAFTA_logoSenior trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will meet again in Washington in an intensified push to reach a Nafta agreement in the next few weeks.

Talks will pick up on Tuesday, after cabinet-level members vowed on Friday to keep up the momentum following consultations with their technical teams over the weekend. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said last week that after seven months of discussions, the three sides have entered a concentrated phase where “my negotiating team is practically living in Washington.” Still, major differences remain over key U.S. demands.

If NAFTA deal isn’t reached quickly, ‘nothing’s going to happen’: Kentucky governor

04/18/2018 CNBC

mattbevinTime is of the essence if a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement is going to be reached, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin told CNBC on Wednesday.

“Nothing’s going to happen if we don’t get it done quickly,” the Republican said in an interview with CNBC’s Wilfred Frost on “Power Lunch.”

That’s because Canada has provincial elections this spring, Mexico has its presidential election in July and the United States has midterms in November, Bevin said.

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US targeting NAFTA deal in three weeks: Sources

04/18/2018 CNBC

NAFTAThe U.S. is aiming to reach a deal in principle with Canada and Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement in the next three weeks, according to congressional aides and industry executives who have been briefed by the Trump administration.

In the last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers in one-on-one phone calls to allow two weeks for high-level talks to conclude, and an additional two weeks for the fine print to be hammered out, according to aides. A senior administration official confirmed that this was the timing the U.S. expected.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative declined to comment.

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Nafta Chiefs Plan Meeting This Week Amid Push for Deal

04/11/2018 Bloomberg

nafta_logo2The top Nafta cabinet officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico plan to meet this week amid an accelerated push to reach a preliminary deal, according to three people familiar with the talks.

The meeting between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo is set to take place on the sidelines of a Western Hemisphere summit in Lima, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. All three have confirmed their attendance.

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Trump to Announce Plans for Renegotiation of NAFTA: Five Ways to Improve the Agreement

1/23/2017 Mexico Institute Forbes Blog

trump-inaugurationPresident Trump’s road to victory was built on a promise to fight on behalf of the American worker to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States. Rightly or wrongly, Donald Trump and many other Americans put much of the blame for the immense challenges being faced by the working class on NAFTA and other free trade agreements.

The newly updated White House website states, “President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA.” However, “if our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA.” Media reports suggest an executive order for a NAFTA renegotiation may be imminent.

An outright withdrawal from NAFTA would be incredibly costly. A Wilson Center study recently found that nearly five million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico, and a good number of them would be put at risk were the agreement to be scrapped. At this point, U.S. and Mexican companies have invested many billions of dollars in each other’s economies to build up a globally competitive regional manufacturing platform upon which cars and other products are jointly manufactured with parts and materials from suppliers dispersed across the continent.

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Wynne heads to Mexico to promote trade and cap-and-trade

08/28/2016 The Star

canadaWith all the Trump-fuelled talk of trade protectionism in the U.S. presidential election, Premier Kathleen Wynne is headed to Mexico to remind officials there that Ontario is wide open for business.

Wynne flies to Mexico City on Monday for meetings with Mexican political leaders, manufacturers, exporters, and potential investors.

“Mexico is our fourth-largest trading partner — $27 billion goes back and forth (annually) so it’s really important that we have that relationship,” the premier told the Star.

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