Mexico vs. Canada in trade talks
President Donald Trump said negotiations with Mexico on a new Nafta are âcoming along nicely,â while telling Canada it will have to wait to re-enter the talks to modernize the three-nation trade pact -- hinting at his preference for bilateral negotiations.
âDeal with Mexico is coming along nicely. Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal,â Trump tweeted late Friday, adding that incoming Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador âhas been an absolute gentleman.â
Trump had harsher words for Canada, the other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. âCanada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we canât make a deal!â he said.
The presidentâs comments highlight the goodwill the U.S. and Mexico have enjoyed since Obrador was elected in July. Obrador, Mexicoâs first left-wing president in recent tim es, wonât take office until Dec. 1, and heâs believed to be keen for the transitional government to clinch a deal with the U.S. before then so his party can maintain some distance from a revamped agreement.
At the same time, relations with Canada have been tense since Juneâs Group of Seven meeting in Quebec, when Trump renounced support for the summitâs communique and took parting shots at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for promising to stand up to U.S. tariffs.
Trump has said recently he might prefer to end the decades-old Nafta pact in favor of inking separate, bilateral agreements with the U.S.âs southern and northern neighbors.
âI wouldnât mind seeing Nafta where you go by a different name, where you make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico. Because youâre talking about a very different two countries,â Trump said on June 1.
Larry Kudlow, the White Hous e economic adviser, said Trump doesnât want to withdraw from Nafta but âprefers bilateral negotiationsâ and wants to try a different approach. âOftentimes, when you have to compromise with a whole bunch of countries, you get the worst of the deals,â Kudlow said on June 5.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo have been meeting in Washington for the last two weeks, with talks focused on rules for how much North American content should be included in cars, a pivotal issue in the discussions.
âEvery day for the last few weeks weâve been making a lot of advancements, and weâll come back next week,â Guajardo told reporters on Friday. âWeâll keep working.â
Canada could soon return to the talks, its ambassador to the U.S. said this week.
The U.S. and Mexico, which have been in bilateral negotiations for about three weeks, appear to be get ting closeâ to agreement over auto manufacturing, David MacNaughton said in an interview on BNN Bloomberg television.
âIf they can resolve their differences on that, then I think we can move ahead and have the three of us talk about some of the other issues that affect all of us,â MacNaughton said.
While a quick, three-way Nafta deal is still possible if all nations show flexibility, Canada still opposes U.S. proposals for a sunset clause on the agreement and wants an independent dispute-resolution process, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Washington at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at [email protected] Ros Krasny, Andrew PollackSource: Google News Canada | Netizen 24 Canada