Published: Thu, October 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Round Four Of NAFTA Talks End

Round Four Of NAFTA Talks End

"We must understand that we all have limits despite over current differences".

Lighthizer also said he was "surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change" from Canada and Mexico regarding reducing USA trade deficits, a top priority for the Trump administration. Mexico will host the fifth round of talks November 17-21, in Mexico City. Freeland slammed Vice President Mike Pence's "win-win-win" NAFTA strategy, which, she said, would degrade not upgrade the trade deal. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland warned that USA proposals "turn back the clock on 23 years of predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA.In some cases, these proposals run counter to World Trade Organization rules. We must ensure that decisions we make today do not come back to haunt us tomorrow", said Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo. The U.S. dairy industry has urged Lighthizer to raise the issue of Canadian dairy policies that keep out U.S. products.

Freeland didn't dismiss the possibility of success but said she was ready "for the worst possible outcome".

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"Everybody has to give up a little bit of candy", Lighthizer said, adding that if "a little bit of the sugar" is taken away, companies can make money in other ways. US grain and meat producers have also said they fear that the produce seasonality proposal could endanger USA exports to Mexico, and the United Fresh Produce Association has said it does not support the seasonality proposal even though its Florida members and some others want the situation addressed.

With Canada and Mexico firmly rejecting USA demands on dairy, autos and other areas, the retail industry group that represents companies including Gap Inc. and VF Corp. said the collapse of the trade agreement would be an "economic catastrophe".

"Economists generally argue that it is not feasible to use trade agreement provisions as a tool to decrease the deficit because trade imbalances are determined by underlying macroeconomic fundamentals", says the 37-page report. That would usher in the new isolationist era that he has long threatened, potentially endangering tens of thousands of American jobs that depend on cross-border agreements for everything from manufacturing automobiles to the export of beef, Politico.com reported.

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"It is not clear how the (U.S.) administration would expect to reduce the trade deficit through the renegotiation".

The extension signals the potential demise of a trade pact that, while critical to North American commerce, has come under withering criticism from the Trump administration as a bad deal for United States workers.

Lighthizer said he had no evidence that either Mexico or Canada is willing to "rebalance" this situation.

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But many US manufacturers moved production south of the border to take advantage of Mexico's low labor costs, then shipped goods back to the United States.

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