US, Mexico, Canada committed to updating NAFTA

"The president spent more time trolling our US senators than he did outlining a positive economic vision as it relates to trade". The second round will take place in Mexico City from September 1 to 5.

That the US-Canadian trade relationship would be a bigger deal for Canada than for the United States is in some ways merely to be expected.

"You can't ignore Trump, he's a real wild card", said Clark, president of the Ottawa firm Grey, Clark, Shih and Associates.

NDP worldwide trade critic Tracy Ramsey also said the Liberals need to get some reassurances from the Americans they are bargaining in good faith, but be prepared for things to go off the rails.


Jones also predicted that eventually "sanity will prevail"-that the US government will recognize that the United States benefits from an economically unified North America".

"We feel like there's some significant advantages ... for ag trade under NAFTA", Young told Agri-Pulse.

"I don't know how much clearer we can be with the White House - with President Trump - that we can't afford to walk away from NAFTA", Kent Bacus, worldwide trade director for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said in an interview.

As negotiations on a NAFTA overhaul began last week in Washington, there was wide agreement on the need to modernize the pact to reflect changes over the past two decades, such as the rise of e-commerce. "They are following the trade objectives Congress gave them".


Indeed, even as Canada runs a trade surplus with the United States (primarily because America, being adjacent to Canada, is a good export market for Canadian natural resources) it runs an overall trade deficit with the world (primarily because its population growth rate, like America's, is above-average for a rich country). Trump campaigned on a pledge to do away with NAFTA, which he blamed for the loss of USA manufacturing jobs. Lighthizer's opening statement also demanded "effective provisions to guard against currency manipulation". For Christine St-Pierre, minister of worldwide Relations and the Francophonie, "there is what Mr. Trump says, and there are people at the table of negotiations".

Videgaray stressed that the United States, like Mexico or Canada, can leave the agreement whenever they want because "the treaty provides for this".

But Bennett added that the Texas economy "loves NAFTA" and that negotiations must be taken seriously to avoid any harm to Texas businesses which "hate uncertainty" because it does not allow them to plan for the future.

"There's not enough red meat to be gained in the NAFTA modernization to satisfy those voters", Ujczo said. In addition to negotiators, a number of Canadian and Mexican stakeholders - including eight members of the Mexican Senate and 150 representatives of Mexico's private sector - were present on the margins of the talks.



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