Uncertain times for some businesses as NAFTA renegotiations continue

Canada Mexico and US Flag Puzzle Pieces conceptual image for NAFTA agreement

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Now, that's looking increasingly unlikely.

NAFTA talks began in August and are to run through March, with the seventh round expected in late February in Mexico City.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: If there's no wall, there's no DACA fix Trump appears to call out Samsung over missing Federal Bureau of Investigation text messages Trump Commerce pick told lawmakers he would look at reversing Obama move on internet oversight: report MORE has called the 1994 pact as a disaster that hurt American workers.

That resolution is looking less and less like it will come on time.

Trump has promised to negotiate a better deal for America or withdraw. It is increasingly common to find goods and service providers that have found lucrative markets somewhere in the United States. "We believe NAFTA is an exemplary example of the benefits of trade to everyone". Withdrawing the USA from that deal was one of President Donald Trumps' first acts in office. Making good on that promise has proven tricky.

The U.S. and Canada were likewise interested in establishing the chapter to ensure fair treatment and opportunity for their companies. By contrast, supporters say it helps the economy, improves worldwide relations, and remains crucial for trade and growth.

"Revisions to NAFTA are likely needed but maybe not a complete rewrite or throwing the deal out the window, as some people have suggested". One suggestion is for NAFTA's central body, the Free Trade Commission, to produce regular updates on how the agreement is working. While conservatives and progressives alike have pointed to NAFTA's flaws, the deal remains a sweeping agreement binding the three North American countries together.

Michael Sabia, chief executive officer of Canadian investment management firm Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, said negotiators should focus more on getting things right than striking a quick agreement. But the White House has made renegotiating NAFTA a challenging process. "Canadians do not view trade as a zero sum game in which one side must lose in order for the other to win", she said.

One local MP is saying the fate of NAFTA will impact not only St. Albert, but also the country as a whole.

The Trump administration set an ambitious schedule last summer when it announced plans to renegotiate the 1994 agreement, which the president has repeatedly criticized as unfair to the USA and threatened to quit.

Trump wants to add a sunset clause that requires countries to vote on participating in NAFTA every five years. That same vehicle is also required to be made of 62.5 percent North American parts content.

Lighthizer's comments were more positive than the trio's previous joint appearance in Washington in October, when he said he was "surprised and disappointed" by Canadian and Mexican positions so far. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo has expressed similar sentiments. The result could be less automotive production in the United States, not more, industry representatives say. "We'll see what happens", Trump said Thursday. He said there's about a 90 per cent chance that Trump will pull the trigger on the six-month withdrawal period to pull from NAFTA.

Dias, who speaks regularly to chief Canadian negotiator Steve Verheul, said the talks were going nowhere, thanks to a series of contentious United States proposals. US producers were already at a competitive disadvantage with countries such as Australia, which had negotiated its own bilateral agreement with Japan and significantly lowered Japan's tariffs on its exports. "Why do we want to get out of NAFTA?" The United States does not import many finished cucumber pickles from Mexico - but in 2016, it did buy $176 million in vinegar-preserved veggies, including jalapeños, pimentos and cactus pads, or nopalitos. Trump had initially wanted a deal by December, though trade negotiations of this scale typically take years. "I think we're going to be all right".

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