Trump can't reach NAFTA deal without Canada: Quebec chief negotiator

Cheryl Sanders
August 13, 2018

WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump said on Friday that the trade negotiation with Mexico “is going very well” and described President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as a “true gentleman.” “Deal with Mexico is coming along nicely. “Canada must wait. Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. "Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal", the tweet said.

Trump late on Friday tweeted that a "deal with Mexico is coming along nicely". Obrador, Mexico's first left-wing president in recent times, won't take office until December 1, and he's believed to be keen for the transitional government to clinch a deal with the U.S. before then so his party can maintain some distance from a revamped agreement. In fact, the USA government decided in June to end the exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

President Trump had harsher words for Canada though, stating that "Canada must wait".

Canada's foreign minister recently said the country is ready to resume NAFTA talks "as quickly and intensively as possible".

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canada's foreign minister, added: "We're glad Mexico and the USA continue to work out their bilateral issues". But keep one thing in mind - The U.S. has not given any concessions to Mexico - Instead, the looking for even further concessions from Mexico as the August deadline for the talks approaches.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that Mexico and the USA have "been making a lot of advancements" in their talks. It's now been over two months since Trump levelled steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, and over a month since the federal government retaliated with counter-tariffs on American-made steel, aluminum, and other goods.

"But as I said before: nothing is closed until everything is closed".

Industry officials also said the US team had barely moved from its demands last May of a 75-percent overall regional content threshold with 40-45 percent content from high-wage zones - effectively the United States and Canada - with the only substantial change a slightly longer phase-in time. Guajardo said that once bilateral U.S. Trump has made this threat on several occasions and those in the industry have expressed concern about the impact that could have throughout North America.

Other reports by iNewsToday