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Trump Welcomes Trudeau to Washington With New Nafta Threat

12 October 2017, 03:02 | Devin Moran

Matthew Lloyd Stringer Getty Images

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Trudeau, in his brief remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, spoke of the ties that bind the two neighbors and major trading partners.

While Trump has regularly targeted the US trade deficit with Mexico in renegotiating the deal, tensions are rising with Canada, the top buyer of USA exports. The U.S.is expected to detail a proposal for the auto sector that would raise the minimum content requirement for parts sourced in the Nafta region and in the U.S. specifically.

And he happened to be doing so at the very moment his successor Justin Trudeau was a few blocks away at the White House, discussing the same issue with the USA president.

"We'll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need", Trump said. "In the meantime, we'll make a deal with one, but I think we have a chance to do something very creative that's good for Canada, Mexico and the United States".

The committee is dedicated to making sure the negotiations are successful, said Rep. Kevin Brady, the committee chair, who asked for Trudeau's help in keeping an open mind.

"An abrupt exit from NAFTA would be more of a loss for US exporters than for Mexican ones", he said.

The proposals call for North American content overall to rise to 85 percent from the current 62.5 percent.




"We all want this agreement to be a model for future trade deals", Brady said. In addition, the USA wants to add a new 50 per cent US-specific content requirement, something that was not in the earlier agreements.

It wasn't clear whether the change in the prime minister's NAFTA message was a direct result of his meeting with the USA president, someone he acknowledged "makes decisions that surprise people sometimes".

"These will be met with widespread opposition from Canada and Mexico". It's time after all of these years and we'll see what happens.

Rules of origin will be discussed by negotiators on Friday, Sunday and Monday, according to an agenda obtained by Bloomberg.

US Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue said the rules of origin proposal would send more business overseas.

Nafta talks, initially scheduled to run from October 11 to October 15 in Washington, may now be extended.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday the three nations had completed their negotiations on company competition policy, reaching an agreement that goes beyond previous U.S. trade deals to ensure "certain rights and transparency under each nation's competition laws".



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