US Will Almost Certainly Miss NAFTA Deadline

27 September, 2018, 11:15 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • NAFTA: Lighthizer hints Mexico pact may need to be reopened if delayed

Trump also cast serious doubt on ongoing NAFTA negotiations, raising issues with "the negotiating style of Canada".

"I must be honest with you, we're not getting along at all with their negotiators", Trump said.

He took aim at the country's dairy tariffs and reiterated his threat to tax Canada's auto industry. "Frankly, we're thinking of just taxing cars that come in from Canada".

Talks have become increasingly hostile.

The Trump administration has said the text of an agreement between the three nations is needed by Sunday to allow the current Mexican government to sign it before it leaves office at the end of November.

But the U.S. leader criticized Canada's trade negotiators and cast doubt on the chances of reaching agreement on a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), again threatening to impose tariffs on all auto imports.

"Yeah, I did", he told a news conference in NY when asked by a reporter whether he had rejected a one-on-one meeting with Trudeau.

Specifically addressing Canada's NAFTA team, Trump said: "We don't like their representative very much".

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He did not rule out the possibility of a deal, but made it clear he had little interest in compromising.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - Freeland's counterpart at the talks - on Tuesday had complained Canada was not making enough concessions and said time was running out.

"The fact is that Canada is not making concessions in areas that we think are essential", the USA official said. "Canada has a long way to go".

"There is still a fair amount of distance between us", Lighthizer said at a conference in NY, according to press reports.

"I don't like NAFTA".

Earlier Wednesday, Canada's USA envoy David MacNaughton, who has taken part in the Washington talks alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, pegged the likelihood of a new trade deal by Sunday's congressional deadline at a "five" on a scale of one to 10. I never liked it.

Earlier Wednesday, Trudeau appeared to give a gentle nudge to the president's trade ambassador, saying Trump had insisted repeatedly that punitive American tariffs on steel and aluminum wouldn't be an issue under a new NAFTA. Another hurdle to a trilateral NAFTA deal is Ottawa's demand for the United States to drop auto tariffs and to preserve Chapter 19 which stipulates how trade disputes are supposed to be settled. It's been great for Canada. "We will put billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury".

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