Mexico, Canada economies set to emerge from NAFTA talks intact: Reuters poll

24 September, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a press conference at the end of the second round of NAFTA renegotiations with Mexico and the U.S. in Mexico City on Sept. 5 2017. The next round of talks take place in Ottawa this weekend

Ottawa will host the third round of talks over the next five days on the North American free trade deal, which is being renegotiated at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has called the accord the worst "in history" and last month cast doubt that the ongoing efforts to revamp the deal can be successful.

Also on Wednesday, negotiators will focus on the arm's length trade dispute settlement mechanism, which Canada and Mexico call essential but the USA wants to scrap, and the controversial investor state dispute settlement mechanism, whereby companies can sue a government for allegedly discriminatory practices.

These data debunk the claim that USA content in the form of parts is so high that we shouldn't worry about headline gross-deficit figures.

After round two of NAFTA talks saw the US target Mexican labour standards and now reports of anxiety within the Canadian auto sector over the Americans angling for more USA content, Trump's team has made it clear they aren't angling for all three countries to get their fair share, it's about seeing more being made in America, she said.

The report comes as chief US negotiator John Melle prepares to present new text proposals at the third round of NAFTA talks in Ottawa starting on Saturday, where he said "more challenging issues will start taking center stage".

Some made-in-America hawks, including Dingell, have pushed the Trump administration to advocate for a toughening of requirements for parts made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico to qualify for duty-free treatment.

Rules of origin - one of the most complicated and contentious issues on the table, particularly when it comes to the auto sector - is on the agenda for the third round which starts Saturday in Ottawa.

Canadian officials have said they don't expect any breakthroughs during the five-day session and suspect the USA will wait until closer to the end of negotiations to lay all its cards on the table. Some analysts are warning against tinkering with the NAFTA origin rules to raise USA content level requirements for NAFTA products, particularly in the auto sector, arguing that the move could backfire against an already strong North American industry sector.

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What does this mean for U.S.jobs?

Napolitano, who was secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama when the DACA program began in 2012, also expressed doubt that Congress will be able to approve the DREAM Act before March, when Trump has said he'll rescind the deferred deportation program.

Likewise, proponents of US trade pacts with Australia and the six-country Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), for instance, underestimated the benefits of the deals. "Thousands of American factory workers have lost their jobs because of these provisions. So rules of origin will just to go to Mexico unless we fix the Mexican problem".

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his wish to push for new NAFTA chapters on gender equality, indigenous rights and labor protections.

The proposal would be a major shift away from a decades-old push by the United States to build an worldwide system of enforceable trade rules, Politico reported.

That two-way trade, alone, supports 6 million U.S.jobs.

Oversold? No, U.S. free trade agreements are working better than expected. If it's going to be a discussion about NAFTA, we have to talk about human rights violations to people that's occurring in Mexico, South America and all over this world.

"I think it's important that Canadians aren't naive and thinking we are going into these talks...with a partner on the other side of the table that is pro free-trade, perhaps not even pro fair-trade", said Ambrose.

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