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U.S. study argues for tougher rules of origin under NAFTA

24 September, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a press conference at the end of the second round of NAFTA renegotiations with Mexico and the U.S. in Mexico City on Sept. 5 2017. The next round of talks take place in Ottawa this weekend

The premise is that NAFTA isn't working and during the tri-nation negotiations between Canada, the USA and Mexico, the trade agreement needs to be substantially changed.

As the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations unfold, there is a lot of loose talk being exchanged about automobile parts going back and forth among the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The source says the US had been expected to present its text on labour standards before the third round of talks, which begin Saturday in Ottawa, but that has not yet happened.

But the event touched on a range of issues, from global relations to President Donald Trump's call for a border wall and an end to DACA, a move Napolitano called wrong "as a matter of process and as a matter of law".

During his campaign, President Donald Trump had threatened that the United States would pull out of NAFTA altogether.

"We have an opportunity to renegotiate this failed agreement, but we must do so in a way that puts working families first", Dingell said.

Behind the scenes, talks between Canada, the USA and Mexico have been described as professional and broad, since negotiators have mostly been focusing on areas of agreement.

Most were optimistic about the negotiations.

In the column, he said the trade deficit in autos and auto parts from Canada and Mexico is the "vast majority" of the nation's $70 billion net trade deficit in goods with other NAFTA countries.

"There's so many scenarios here and I don't think count on wrapping this up quickly and cleanly by the end of December", Ambrose said.

On the eve of the third round, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross published a column in which he blasted NAFTA for allowing outside countries to provide auto parts that aren't covered by the content requirement - likely an allusion to the rapidly increasing amount of electronic components that are primarily produced in China, Japan and Germany. It has been credited with booming trade between the three nations. Mexico and Canada are particularly important export markets.

Two-thirds of the 38 banks and institutions that responded to the poll expected the outcome of the renegotiation to be largely neutral or positive for both Mexico and Canada.

David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US, acknowledged Friday that the clock is ticking on the talks overall - and that negotiators won't be able to take a passive approach if they want the best deal possible. Average Americans echo these fears.

Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network, said that she would like to see NAFTA's investor-state dispute mechanism - which deals with how companies can challenge government regulations - should be eliminated from the deal.

"If we don't fix the rules of origin, negotiations on the rest of the agreement will fail to meaningfully shift the [U.S.] trade imbalance", Mr. Ross wrote in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post. "We're all in this together and whether we succeed or not, we'll have a great impact on our future".

Ahead of NAFTA renegotiations, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spelled out that Canada's priorities would include making the deal "more progressive", by adding new chapters on indigenous rights and gender, and strengthening labour and environmental protections.

She said border states like California share geography and a cultural history with Mexico, in addition to hosting communities of migrant workers.

Exports of US pork south of the border, for example, have increased by $1 billion under NAFTA; they had been estimated to rise by $440 million. "That is going to change under President [Donald] Trump, and rules of origin are just the beginning".

Meanwhile, she urged Arizona DACA recipients to continue to apply for renewal of their deferred deportation status and to speak out on the issue.


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