No NAFTA Better Than Bad Deal, Say Business Leaders


Decoding such messages was the task before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who heard the full range of Trump's views during his visit to the White House on Wednesday.

Among the changes Higgins would like to see is a provision that calls for the trade deal to be revisited every three to five years so that it can be kept up to date. Trudeau said he recognized that there were proposals in the deal that the U.S. and Canada disagreed on, but insisted that the talks had begun on Wednesday "in good faith". "We have a tough negotiation".

President Trump on Wednesday signaled the possibility of the USA striking a bilateral trade deal with Canada if talks to renegotiate NAFTA break down.

Mr. Trump raised the possibility he would consider a separate U.S.

"We're concerned that we may be on a course to upset the trade balance in Nafta that has unquestionably led to a vibrant and successful auto industry in the United States", said Bozzella, whose group represents companies including Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

Trudeau will head into his meeting with Trump after talks with the influential House of Representatives' Ways and Means committee, one of two bodies of USA lawmakers helping negotiators put forward the US positions on trade. He'll meet with the deal's other major player, President Enrique Pena Nieto, on Thursday in Mexico City.

Mr. Trump said Canada shouldn't fear an end to NAFTA. "So we'll see what happens with NAFTA", President Trump said.

Trudeau told a summit for businesswomen in D.C. Tuesday night that he views his meeting with the president as a continuation of their efforts to find ways to mutually benefit both countries.

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Other contentious US proposals opposed by Canada, Mexico and much of the USA business community include a five-year sunset provision on deals, an overhaul of NAFTA's dispute arbitration systems, revisions to intellectual property requirements and new protections for USA seasonal produce growers.

Round 4 of NAFTA talks began Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia.

"If the required content to hit the threshold for a NAFTA vehicle is too high, people may say, 'Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in, '" Magna International Inc. "But let me be forceful and direct: There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal".

Speaking in Mexico City, Thomas Donohue, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's president and chief executive, listed several U.S. proposals that he said would undermine $1 trillion in annual trilateral trade, including a "sunset clause" to force regular negotiations. They're going to do well; we're going to do well, but maybe that won't be necessary. -Mexican relations and adversely impact bilateral cooperation in non-trade areas.

"Clearly, Mexico's willingness to collaborate would not be as enthusiastic if you are mistreated on one front", he told Mexican reporters this week.

The Trump administration has imposed duties on Canadian Bombardier airliners and lumber exports in recent months and has criticized Canada's wine and dairy industries. Chicago-based Boeing has accused Bombardier of receiving unfair subsidies from Canada and Great Britain. It's been meeting with members of the Trump administration and lawmakers from states where vehicle manufacturers have a large presence as well as holding "extensive briefings" with Republicans and Democrats on Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, he said.

Donohue singled out plans to make automakers source more parts in North America, as well as proposed changes to the dispute resolution mechanism as obstacles to NAFTA's renewal.