Mexico the Focus of the WH NAFTA Redux, Canada on Hold
US President Donald Trump said negotiations with Mexico on a new Nafta are “coming along nicely,” while telling Canada it will have to wait to re-enter the talks to modernize the three-nation trade pact, signaling his preference for bi-lateral negotiations.
“Deal with Mexico is coming along nicely. Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal,” President Trump Tweeted late Friday, adding that incoming Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador aka AMLO, “has been an absolute gentleman.”
President Trump harsh words for Canada, the other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we cannot make a deal!” he said.
The President’s comments highlight the goodwill the US and Mexico have enjoyed since AMOLwas elected in July. President Obrador, Mexico’s 1st left-wing president in recent times, won’t take office until 1 December, and he is believed to be keen for the transitional government to clinch a deal with the US before then so his party can maintain some distance from a revamped agreement.
At the same time, relations with Canada have been tense since June’s G7 meeting in Quebec, when President Trump renounced support for the Summit’s communique and took direct aim at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for promising to stand up to US tariffs.
President Trump has said he prefers to end the decades-old NAFTA pact in favor of inking separate, bi-lateral agreements with the US neighbors.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing NAFTA where you go by a different name, where you make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico. Because you’re talking about a very different two countries,” President Trump said on 1 June.
“Every day for the last few weeks we’ve been making a lot of advancements, and we’ll come back next week,” Mr. Guajardo told reporters on Friday. “We’ll keep working.”
Canada could soon return to the talks, its Ambassador to the US said this week.
The US and Mexico, which have been in bilateral negotiations for about three weeks, appear to be getting close to an agreement.
A 3-way NAFTA deal is still possible if all nations show flexibility, Canada still opposes US proposals for a Sunset Clause on the agreement and wants an independent dispute-resolution process.
Ultimately it is in Canada’s best interest to align with the U, they will.
Have a terrific weekend