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NAFTA parties close competition chapter as talks resume

NAFTA parties close competition chapter as talks resume”

Meanwhile, Trump ally Newt Gingrich was advising observers to ignore the bluster and expect the pact's salvation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerged from a day of meetings in the USA capital Wednesday continuing to champion a continental trade deal that many around him suggest may be doomed.

With a January deadline to strike a deal, Mr. Trudeau is visiting Washington and Mexico City this week to meet the leaders of the two other NAFTA countries.

Donald Trump, at the time the Republican presidential nominee, shakes hands with Pena Nieto at a news conference in Mexico City during Trump's controversial visit in August 2016. "It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will".

Without NAFTA, Mexico trade experts say USA products would face higher tariffs to enter Mexico, which could further skew the trade balance.

Mr. Trudeau, under pressure at home to maintain good ties with the country's largest trading partner, took the diplomatic route in public, telling reporters in the Oval Office the USA and Canadian "have a good partnership and there are always ways to improve it". Trudeau, for his own part, cautioned against speculation and emphasized the prospects for an agreement.

"The clear focus was that we have to send a message to all the different constituencies about how much of an error it would be to cancel NAFTA, or make a bad NAFTA", Vogel said in an interview with Reuters.

However, Trump has also suggested for a new alternative if NAFTA renegotiation fail to create an entirely new deal. "My optimism is based on the fact I know how good it has been".

The chamber sent a letter to the White House on Tuesday signed by more than 300 local USA business groups in support of NAFTA. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has pledged to fight any pull-out and the House of Representative's powerful Ways and Means Committee is flexing its muscle to defend the accord. A letter to Mr. Trump from 310 chambers of commerce across the country on Tuesday implored the President to "do no harm" to NAFTA. International Trade and Customs Attorney Dan Ujczo said the tone of Trump Administration negotiators is getting more aggressive. A Democratic colleague called on Canada to loosen its protections for cultural industries, exempted from the current NAFTA.

Committee members agreed that the deal with Canada was of benefit to both countries. He said the likelihood of passing a deal would drop after the so-called fast-track authority expires in July. Canada's supply management policies have made it very hard for US dairy, poultry, and eggs to get into the Canadian marketplace. Ujczo said it's a possibility that the Trump administration is counting on that.

"Let's just agree to disagree", Ross replied.

But Trump has repeatedly signalled he's rather rip up the deal before renegotiating it, casting a pall over the talks. He says Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue literally saved NAFTA back in April during discussions with the President.

Harper, whose Conservatives governed Canada from 2006 to 2015, warned that companies should be studying the consequences if the deal collapses.

In his appearance with Trudeau, Trump said: "We'll see what happens" when asked whether Nafta was doomed. "It has to be a lot more than some kind of technical revamp and I think that's going to be tough to get to". The NAFTA competition chapter is also known as Chapter 15.



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