Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

NAFTA talks hit wall as Mexico, Canada push back on U.S. demands

NAFTA talks hit wall as Mexico, Canada push back on U.S. demands

Lighthizer said in a separate statement, "While we have made progress on some of our efforts to modernize NAFTA, I remain concerned about the lack of headway".

The next round of negotiations will be held in Washington in December, and then in Montreal at the end of January.

Robert Lighthizer did not attend this round of talks but said in a statement Tuesday that he saw no evidence Canada or Mexico are willing to accept changes proposed by the USA team.

The commission said the minimum wage now falls about $15 a month short of what is needed to meet a worker's basic food, shelter and clothing costs.

According to sources, negotiators have made some progress in folders that are more technical and have nearly reached agreements on matters less contentious, such as e-commerce.

With chances the of failure rising, delegates from the United States, Mexico and Canada have wrapped up another round of talks centered on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement without making any progress on a range of key issues such as automobiles and agriculture.

All three countries have previously undertaken to expedite NAFTA renegotiation to avoid clashing with domestic political processes, including the Mexican presidential election on July 1.

Business Insider  Andy Kiersz data from US Census Bureau
Business Insider Andy Kiersz data from US Census Bureau

In a brief trilateral statement, the NAFTA parties reaffirmed their commitment to moving forward in all areas of the negotiations, in order to conclude talks as soon as possible. That's the way negotiations are, let's not get nervous.

A United States official said wording had been agreed upon for anti-corruption, telecommunications, goods market access, sanitary and food safety measures and technical barriers to trade with spaces left for disputed sections.

Much friction centred on Mexican and Canadian rejection of a USA proposal to raise the minimum threshold for autos to 85 per cent North American content from 62.5 per cent as well as to require half of vehicle content to be from the United States.

"I've been married for 19 years; when my husband asked me to marry him he didn't say every five years we're going to check whether we want to get divorced or not", she told reporters in Toronto.

A series of news reports said that Canada had pushed back on US auto demands and that Mexico had proposed limiting USA access to Mexican government contracts.

Supporters of NAFTA, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, have said with increasing intensity that NAFTA has greatly benefited the U.S. economy during its 23 years of existence.

Like this: