US Offers Proposal That Could Kill NAFTA in Five Years

Prime Minister concludes visit to Washington, DC

A day after US President Donald Trump warned that NAFTA talks between Canada, the United States and Mexico could fail - and that the pact could be replaced by bilateral treaties - Morneau said friction is natural in any trade deal. "So we'll see what happens with NAFTA", Trump said, adding that it "has to be fair to both countries".

On Friday, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown offered his support, saying it was "about time" United States trade negotiators "took the pen away from corporate lobbyists and started writing trade policy that puts American workers first".

Trudeau was heading to Mexico City after leaving Washington for talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

"We share a series of values with Canada: high wages, rigorous environmental standards, individual freedoms, and a commitment to shared prosperity".

Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a NAFTA deal but noted that Canadians must be "ready for anything".

However, in his typically uncompromising approach to diplomacy, Trump told reporters later that "if we can't make a deal, it'll be terminated and that will be fine".

As well as the sunset clause, the United States wants to boost how much North American content autos must contain to qualify for tax-free status and eliminate a dispute settlement mechanisms that Canada insists must stay.

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The part supplier group said Thursday that US automakers would be at a disadvantage if they face higher tariffs than their counterparts in other countries outside of North America do.

"Let me be forceful and direct", Tom Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, said earlier this week.

Britain is now negotiating the terms of its divorce from the European Union though Prime Minister Theresa May is pushing to move onto discussions about a major free trade deal with the world's biggest trading bloc.

The meeting, part of a bilateral "CEO dialogue" that meets a couple of times each year, included a closed-door discussion on the NAFTA negotiations addressed by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo, who are in charge of the negotiations for Mexico. US negotiators have countered with a proposal that would effectively grant the other countries less access, people familiar with the talks say.

NAFTA negotiators face tough new USA demands to increase regional content for autos to 85 percent from 62.5 percent, with 50 percent from the United States, according to people briefed on the plan. "There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal". "Any trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous is a good sign that it's moving in the right direction for workers". "Or are we going to take a back seat because we refused to cast aside our differences with our greatest trading allies?"

"If the required content to hit the threshold for a NAFTA vehicle is too high, people may say, 'Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in, '" Magna International Inc. "We have always understood that draining the swamp would be controversial in Washington".

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