Trudeau promotes rights of workers, women at NAFTA talks in Mexico

THE STAR: Justin Trudeau issued a progressive call to arms Friday, urging lawmakers in Mexico’s most populous city to embrace and promote the rights of workers and women as an antidote to the creeping threat of isolationism that imperils trade and economic growth around the world. His speech to the Mexican Senate capped a four-day trip that began in Washington, D.C., largely revolving around the ongoing talks to rewrite the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement and bring it into the modern era. Ensuring it is a deal that benefits all segments of society is essential, the prime minister said.

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What Would Happen if the U.S. Withdrew From Nafta

GULF NEWS: President Trump continues threatening to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, and with negotiations on rocky ground, that risk could soon become reality. Withdrawing from the pact would bring big changes for the economy and for consumers. Since the pact came into effect in 1994, United States trade with Mexico and Canada has more than tripled, growing more rapidly than American trade with the rest of the world. Mexico and Canada are now the second and third largest exporters to the United States, after China. And the two countries are the leading importers of American products.

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US hikes tensions in NAFTA talks with call for ‘sunset clause’

CNBC: Washington has dramatically increased tensions in talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement by proposing that the lifespan of any new deal be limited to five years, people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. The proposal for a so-called sunset clause — just one of a series of U.S. initiatives that are opposed by NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico — only served to increase uncertainty about the future of the deal. Two sources with direct knowledge of the talks described the atmosphere as “horrible” and highly charged.

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Congress will ‘stand up’ to Trump if he tries to end NAFTA, U.S. lawmaker says

CBC NEWS: While the prospect of NAFTA’s demise may be causing some hand wringing as Canada, the United States and Mexico renegotiate the trade deal, Brian Higgins, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, says NAFTA won’t go down without a fight in Congress. Higgins, a Democrat who represents New York’s 26th District and sits on the influential House Ways and Means committee, told CBC Radio’s The House that U.S. President Donald Trump’s positions on NAFTA do not entirely represent the U.S. government.

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A NAFTA Poison Pill?

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sat down this week with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico to begin the group’s fourth round of negotiations over how to move forward with retooling the North American Free Trade Agreement. And while Lighthizer’s office has periodically issued statements and updates indicating progress, President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, didn’t issue particularly enthusiastic remarks ahead of a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Truedeau. “We’ll see what happens. It’s possible we won’t be able to make a deal, and it’s possible we will,” Trump said from the White House. “But I’ve been opposed to NAFTA for a long time in terms of the fairness of NAFTA. I said we’d renegotiate. And I think Justin understands this. If we can’t make a deal, it’ll be terminated. And that’ll be fine.”

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US seeks to include steel, aluminum in NAFTA autos rules: sources

CNBC: The Trump administration is seeking to use NAFTA to boost the U.S. steel and other basic materials industries by proposing stricter automotive content rules that require the use of North American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins. Three people who were briefed on the matter said that the U.S. rules of origin proposal would put these materials on the North American Free Trade Agreement’s auto parts tracing list for the first time. The list is used to verify the regional content level of vehicles and parts so that they can qualify for tariff-free shipment to all three NAFTA countries.

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End-of-Nafta Jitters Emerge in Remote Corner of Global Markets

There have been few signs in financial markets that the prospect of an unraveling of the Nafta trade accord is worrying investors. A slump in Mexico’s peso would be the clearest one. Now, those jitters are surfacing in a somewhat obscure corner of global markets — the lumber industry. Lumber futures soared to a 13-year high on Friday, getting a fresh jolt from the latest U.S. threats of dropping out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The commodity’s price can be used as a good indicator of Canadian and U.S. trade relations because the countries have already been at an impasse for more than a year over a deal on softwood, with futures closely tracking the tensions.

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Shay: NAFTA modernization should improve, not destroy, the pact

Canada, Mexico and the United States are holding the fourth round of negotiations on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Most agree that this will be a critical round as most, if not all, of the proposals to modernize the agreement will be put on the table. This could be a make or break round for the future of the agreement. With that in mind, it is important to note that the U.S. retail industry, along with a majority of the business and agricultural community, support the goal of modernizing NAFTA after more than 20 years. The agreement must be updated to reflect global value chains that exist in today’s marketplace that support millions of U.S. jobs in manufacturing, services, retail and agriculture. Retail alone represents 42 million working Americans, with close to 7 million retail jobs directly or indirectly related to trade.

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Trump’s tough talk on NAFTA raising fears of pact’s demise

BOSTON GLOBE: The North American Free Trade Agreement, long a punching bag for President Trump, is edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gather for a fourth round of contentious talks here this week. In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sparred with US businesses that support NAFTA and has pushed for significant changes that negotiators from Mexico and Canada say are nonstarters. All the while, the president has continued threatening to withdraw the United States from the trade agreement, which he has maligned as the worst in history. On Wednesday, as he sat beside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada in the Oval Office, Trump again said it was “possible” that the United States would drop out of
NAFTA.

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Canada, Mexico Vow to Stick With NAFTA Talks, Mexico Works on Plan B

REUTERS: The leaders of Mexico and Canada on Thursday pledged to work toward a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) even as talks taking place in the United States turned sour due to hard-line U.S. demands. Speaking in Mexico City as a fourth round of talks to rehash NAFTA was held near Washington, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said they were committed to a “win-win-win” deal. The talks in the United States hit obstacles, with tensions increasing dramatically Thursday due to U.S. demands that include adding a so-called “sunset clause” to NAFTA that would force negotiations of the $1 trillion pact every five years.

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Sen. Portman: Retool, don’t end NAFTA

THE BLADE: Retooling the North American Free Trade Agreement is a much needed action but ending it completely would be bad for northwest Ohio’s auto industry in particular, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday. Mr. Portman, (R., Ohio) came to Toledo Thursday to tour the General Motors Toledo Transmission plant on Alexis Road, the second stop on a three-day tour to visit some of the state’s largest auto plants. On Wednesday the senator was at a Ford plant in Cincinnati. Before arriving in Toledo he spent part of Thursday at a GM plant in Parma near Cleveland. On Friday he will tour Fiat Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex before heading to Marysville to tour the Honda manufacturing facility.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The main image accompanying the above NAFTA News Clips shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico City. Trudeau told the Mexican Senate that ensuring NAFTA is a deal that benefits all segments of society is essential. (Photo: Marco Ugarte/The Associated Press)