Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre, 2018

What's in NAFTA Talks for Canadian Businesses

Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into US at the Bridge of Americas in Mexico Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into US at the Bridge of Americas in Mexico
Parmenio Sano | 17 Agosto, 2017, 07:17

Also, forging a complex agreement could be even more hard given that next year brings congressional elections in the USA and a presidential election in Mexico.

The U.S. government isn't interested in incremental changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement and instead will pursue a major overhaul of the treaty that includes tighter rules of origin to address deficits in merchandise trade with Canada and Mexico, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

"As a starting point, I think many people in agriculture are concerned that we don't lose what we have", Holte said.

He hoped that the three countries could develop model provisions in each of these areas "that will be used for years ahead and have the flexibility to adapt to future innovations". The U.S. listed a few demands and they were expected: changes in the auto sector that mean more production in North America, including the U.S.; changes to the dispute-resolution system; and a general rebalancing of trade relationships.

Trump has bashed NAFTA since his presidential campaign, saying the "worst trade deal" ever signed has led to more USA manufacturing jobs moving offshore. I was recently in Washington meeting with elected officials and staff at the Commerce Department about the importance of trade in our region, and TBLC recently joined forces with the Borderplex Alliance, the Texas Association of Business and the Texas Association of Manufacturers to form the Texas-Mexico Trade Coalition, which will coordinate advocacy efforts on NAFTA and trade. "After modernizing, the tough work begins", Lighthizer said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland suggested on Monday that Ottawa could walk away from the talks if the United States insisted on scrapping the mechanism to resolve trade disputes between the three Nafta countries.


President Trump is one step closer to getting a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

On Wednesday, however, Lighthizer said, "Rules of origin, particularly on autos and auto parts, must require higher NAFTA content and substantial USA content". Under the pact now, for example, at least 62.5 percent of the total value of the components in a vehicle have to come from within North America in order for that automobile to move across North American borders tax free. Today, for the first time, we will start negotiating to revise a major free trade agreement.

First, you have the US business community, which benefits a ton from selling to Canada and Mexico.

Noting that Canada had withdrawn its chief negotiator from 1987 talks on a bilateral trade treaty with the United States over the same issue, Freeland said "our government will be equally resolute".

The Institute said that while these consequences could be in Canada's long-term economic interests, they could prove politically contentious, especially if Canadian negotiators fail to gain important concessions from the US. Trade veterans say the pace of the talks is unprecedented - with the desire to revamp NAFTA over the course of several months.

Dave Salmonsen, Sr., director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), said there are several areas NAFTA could benefit from using some of the language agreed to in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal the USA pulled out of earlier this year. It still might be achievable, he said, because the countries know each other so well from numerous negotiations, including NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the World Trade Organization. Mulhern said the deal doesn't help USA farmers or Canadian consumers.

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