Trump's words hang over NAFTA table as United States business frets

Trump's words hang over NAFTA table as United States business frets

Trump's words hang over NAFTA table as United States business frets

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico Thursday for high-level talks, on the heels of a tense visit to Washington that saw him spar with US President Donald Trump over trade. "So we'll see what happens with NAFTA", Trump said, adding that it "has to be fair to both countries".

Business leaders attending a U.S. -Mexico CEO conference said that no North American Free Trade Agreement would be better than a bad deal, as industry braces for the end of a treaty that drives $1 trillion in annual trade.

Oil prices have suffered from data released late Wednesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showing a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories and gained little from a report by the International Energy Agency, released Thursday, suggesting the global oil market will be in balance next year despite rising output.

Reuters says that if Britain did join NAFTA, exporters to the European Union and North America would have to produce goods in accordance with the two separate sets of rules, according to trade analysts. "We have to protect our workers".

Freeland, who says Canada buys more from the United States than China, Britain and Japan combined, told CTV television on Sunday that Trudeau's message to Trump at their White House meeting would be "We are your biggest client". Trudeau said he recognized that there were proposals in the deal that the USA and Canada disagreed on, but insisted that the talks had begun on Wednesday "in good faith".

The pomp and circumstance that greeted Trudeau at the airport was followed by a sombre wreath-laying ceremony at a monument commemorating Mexico's efforts to beat back an American invasion in the 1850s - an apt image as both Canada and Mexico now contemplate how to withstand new US strong-arming efforts over trade.

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Trump and Trudeau met as negotiators from the three NAFTA countries gathered in the Washington suburb of Arlington to get the next round of trade talks under way.

The rules of origin demands are among several conditions that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has labeled "poison pill proposals" that threaten to torpedo the talks. Mexico could leave NAFTA and have the strength to move on without any serious long-term structural damage to the economy, he said. The U.S.is expected to propose substantially raising the regional requirement, from 62.5 percent now, and potentially add a U.S. -specific content requirement. The negotiations were extended on Wednesday by two days to Oct 17. Representatives of the auto industry warned some of the USA demands could raise prices for vehicles.

The hard issue of rules of origin will be addressed mostly at the end of the current talks, according to a schedule obtained by Reuters. "The problem is that we are running against a clock", he says.

Chris Sands, a professor at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said Canada's problems marked "a new era of tough love" with Washington.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Trudeau would "explain really clearly to the President. that Canada is not America's problem".

"In terms of trade, the USA sells more to Canada than it does to China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined".

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