'Heated rhetoric' expected during NAFTA talks, Canadian officials say

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25 August, 2017

Prior to his election, U.S. President Donald Trump roundly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"Ultimately, I don't think markets care that much about the noise coming out of Washington, D.C., but they're trying to translate what that noise means for the potential for tax reform".

"Given that farmers were a key constituency for President Donald Trump during his 2016 electoral campaign, we expect they will push back against major changes that could lead to a disruption of this trade", the analysts continued.

Mexican and Canadian leaders have framed their aims as "modernizing" NAFTA to better reflect how trade works now, including adding guidelines for e-commerce. US -produced pork also is a major export to Mexico and Canada. By "helping" the manufacturing sector, renegotiation of NAFTA may hurt the Automotive Industry.

"For countless Americans, this agreement has failed", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a news conference.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of", Trump said during a rally in Arizona, referring to the free trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The money spent by these companies on lobbying has also rapidly increased at the same time, growing from $18.3 million to $128.9 million.

He said Trump's comments also could damage the "friendship and economic alliance that the USA and Mexico share". Indeed, a new trade deal would be considered "fair" only if the United States receives disproportionately large concessions compared with Mexico and Canada.

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As far as can be seen for now, the second round of talks remains set, so it's unclear at which point President Trump would can the deal should he decide to do so.

Its foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, said Wednesday that talks are continuing and if Trump really wanted to break up Nafta he would have done so already.

The Honourary Chairperson of the Council, Maude Barlow, recently said in a press release, "If (Canada's) government is truly concerned about the environment, labour and public protection, it should look at the glaring problem: Chapter 11, which has made Canada vulnerable to billions of dollars of corporate lawsuits over our environmental and public policy decisions".

"I think courts are going to be sympathetic to the idea that the president can't ignore the legislation that implements these trade agreements".

The loonie has rallied almost 7 percent since the start of the year, buoyed by a softer greenback and upbeat domestic economic data that prompted the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates for the first time in seven years last month.

"We're just getting used to these ideas that essentially what you do is to take a trade negotiation away from practicalities, which is how do we pass oil and gas across the border ... into values".

In a nod of support for a NAFTA renegotiation, John Wittman, a spokesman for Gov. Greg Abbott said Abbott "believes we need good, fair trade deals that will benefit the United States and its workers".


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