Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

A New NAFTA Deal Doesn't Seem Close, Despite Deadline

A New NAFTA Deal Doesn't Seem Close, Despite Deadline

"Lighthizer said the United States will continue to engage in negotiations to secure a deal beneficial for US workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

US House Speaker Paul Ryan had said he needed the written agreement by on Thursday if the Congress was to approve NAFTA this year. Negotiators are working to wrap up chapters tied to the modernization of the agreement, which includes topics like the environment, energy, and financial services.

The reason Canada, Mexico and some in the USA want a deal wrapped up has to do with creating certainty - in terms of business confidence, and in order to settle the process before elections in Mexico and the US stall progress until next year.

The three countries are racing to overhaul what US President Donald Trump has called the worst trade deal ever signed.

Dan Ujczo, an worldwide trade lawyer, told Politico that to reach an agreement, negotiators may have to concede to a "skinny NAFTA", one without addressing key issues including reducing the trade deficit, preventing job outsourcing and providing better market access to Canada for US dairy farmers.

If a NAFTA deal is not reached before the election, Mexico's negotiators will work closely with the incoming government's transition team, Smith told Mexican radio.

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The vaccine requires storage at a temperature between -60 and -80 degrees C, tricky in a country with unreliable electricity. He said authorities would intensify population tracing at all air, river and road routes out of the city.

Notwithstanding this, major sticking points remain - among the most prominent of which is the USA proposal for a five-year sunset clause whereby the renegotiated agreement would automatically terminate unless all three countries explicitly agree to renew it.

With attention focused on the contentious issues of cars, Trudeau said that Mexico had made proposals that "will go a long way towards reducing the trade deficit the US has with Mexico and indeed even bringing back some auto jobs from Mexico to the United States".

In Mexico, officials on Thursday downplayed the importance of Ryan's deadline.

"I would not rule out the possibility of reaching (a deal) at any moment from the last week in May, or as long as it takes", Guajardo told journalists. "We didn't get there last week, but we will keep trying to achieve it".

Mexican and Canadian officials on Thursday appeared to brush off the passage of an informal deadline set by the US Congress to reach a deal on revamping a continent-wide trade pact.

Mexico's Economy Secretary, Ildefonso Guajardo, echoed those sentiments, saying that there will not be a deal by Thursday. "But a clarification is necessary: any renegotiated NAFTA that implies losses of existing Mexican jobs is unacceptable", he said. This takes into account the practical realities faced by companies and investors, which customarily map out their business strategies with significantly longer timeframes in mind; with the threat of expiry ever present, many claim that investor confidence and commercial certainty would erode beyond fix, with serious knock-on effects for all parties involved.

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