Trump Welcomes Trudeau to Washington With New Nafta Threat

12 October, 2017, 03:02 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Trudeau says approach to Trump will be to find common ground on trade

Trump accuses NAFTA of shipping jobs south of the United States border and calls it the worst trade deal ever signed.

The former House speaker and friend of the president says a deal will eventually be reached, after long and hard negotiations.

"I think it's been clear that circumstances are often challenging, and we have to be ready for anything - and we are", Trudeau said.

Asked during his appearance with Trudeau whether NAFTA was dead, Trump said, "We'll see what happens".

US President Donald Trump says he would be open to doing a bilateral trade deal with Canada but not Mexico if talks between the three countries over the North American Free Trade Agreement fall apart.

"These will be met with widespread opposition from Canada and Mexico".

In his meeting with Trump, Trudeau was expected to remind the president that Canada is the United States' biggest export customer, with largely balanced two-way goods and services trade, and is not the cause of U.S. manufacturing jobs lost under NAFTA, Canadian officials said.

Other U.S. proposals opposed by Canada, Mexico and U.S. business interests include the five-year sunset provision, radical changes to NAFTA's dispute arbitration systems, changes to intellectual property provisions and new protections for U.S. seasonal produce growers. Trudeau and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May have called on Trump to intervene.

"The possibility exists that we could leave the negotiating table because our partners are asking for things that Mexico can't deliver", its president, Juan Pablo Castanon, said earlier this month.

But repeating the "ready for anything" sentiment multiple times suggested a conscious decision to acknowledge that the outcome of the talks may not go Canada's way.

On Tuesday evening, Trudeau is scheduled to attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women gala that Ivanka Trump may also attend.

"I continue to believe in NAFTA; I continue to believe that as a continent working together in complementary ways is better for our citizens and better for economic growth, and allows us to compete on a stronger footing with the global economy", Trudeau said. The US is expected to propose substantially raising the regional requirement, from 62.5% now, and potentially add a US-specific content requirement. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo are now expected to meet on October 17 to wrap up the latest round, according to officials familiar with plans who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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