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18 October 2017, 12:44 | Floyd Cook
Mexico expects'win-win in NAFTA negotiations central bank
Discussions remained tense as the USA government insists on several big changes to the 23-year-old deal that could hurt Canada and Mexico.
If the deal falls apart there is no economic analysis as to what would happen but Lighthizer said "my guess is all three countries would do just fine".
"We have seen proposals that would turn back the clock on 23 years predictability, openness and collaboration", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in Washington.
"Frankly, I am surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change by our negotiating partners on both fronts", Lighthizer said.
Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP - a deal between the USA and 11 other Asia-Pacific nations - shortly after taking office.
All sides remain committed to talks for now: The next round will be in Mexico City starting November 17.
Lighthizer said he thought by now the sides would've agreed to issues including digital trade, telecommunications and anticorruption, and there's no indication of changes that would result in a reduction of the US trade deficit.
But uncertainty reigned at the end of the talks with a gloom dominating the negotiations with Mexico and Canada this time around after USA trade officials proposed several provisions that both countries considered nonstarters. Both counties also oppose US proposals designed to create jobs for American auto manufacturers by putting more stringent limits on how much of a vehicle can be made outside of North America to qualify for immunity to import taxes in the three NAFTA countries.
The Trump administration last week made some tough submissions, included raising the auto rules of origin to 85%, up from the current 62.5%, and adding a sunset clause, which would lead to NAFTA expiring every five years unless all three countries agree to extended it.
The U.S. proposal would also require that cars sold into the United States be 50 percent manufactured here in order to qualify for special NAFTA status.
The canadian government has said that this proposal was doomed to failure. Right now, this right is reserved for Mexico and Canada.
Mexican economist and financial analyst Luis Rubio said the greatest danger to Mexico if NAFTA is scrapped is loss of confidence in the nation as a place for investment.
"There is no one trade agreement in the world that has country-specific content".
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