US Said to Make Proposal That Could Kill NAFTA in 5 Years

USA Trump and Trudeau at the White House | NAFTA

A day after US President Donald Trump warned that NAFTA talks between Canada, the United States and Mexico could fail - and that the pact could be replaced by bilateral treaties - Morneau said friction is natural in any trade deal. "So we'll see what happens with Nafta, but I've been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta".

As many as 50,000 workers at auto parts suppliers could lose their jobs due to increased tariffs if the USA pulls out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a study released Thursday by the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, which lobbies for suppliers in Washington.

USA proposals include limiting the number of federal government contracts that Mexican and Canadian companies can win, a provision that would cause the deal to automatically expire in five years unless all three countries vote to renew, and changes in how much of a product needs to be made in North America to come under Nafta protections. Trump made revamping or ending NAFTA - which he has called "a bad deal for our country" - a core pillar of his election campaign as he promised more benefits for U.S. workers in global trade deals.

"Despite the non-cooperative approach to some of our Administration's policy proposals, our counterparts in Mexico and Canada are still negotiating with us in full faith".

"It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will".

The rules of origin demands are among several conditions that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has labeled "poison pill proposals" that threaten to torpedo the talks.


The CEO meeting ran in parallel to talks near Washington aimed at refreshing the 1994 agreement, with Mexico, Canada and businesses united in opposition to a number of radical US proposals they say would damage the North American economy.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue, speaking in Mexico City on Tuesday, pledged to fight "like hell" to defend Nafta if Trump tries to pull out. Mexico strongly opposes such a move, which would damage its own vehicle industry.

The Chamber and the trade group for Mexico's auto industry already have come out against an anticipated proposal to raise US -specific content. The negotiations were extended on Wednesday by two days to Oct 17.

According to a schedule seen by Reuters, meetings on government procurement, cross-border services trade, environmental issues and state-owned enterprises were set to conclude for the current round on Thursday.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, in Washington for meetings with G20 finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund, was confronted Thursday with several questions about a possible US exit from NAFTA. The business lobby group said there were "several poison pill proposals" put on the table by the United States that could tank the renegotiations. -Canada deal that would leave Mexico out entirely.

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