Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump says NAFTA talks going ‘nicely,’ Canada sees progress on auto rules

Published

on

 U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that a new North American Free Trade Agreement could be agreed quickly, as Canada hailed progress on forging new rules for the auto industry, the pivotal issue in talks to revamp the 24-year-old accord.

Ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico responsible for NAFTA met in Washington to narrow outstanding differences in the hope of tying up a deal in the coming days.

“NAFTA, as you know, is moving along. They (Mexico) have an election coming up very soon,” Trump said at a cabinet meeting briefly attended by reporters.

“But we’re doing very nicely with NAFTA. I could make a deal really quickly, but I’m not sure that’s in the best interests of the United States. But we’ll see what happens,” he said.

 While details are not yet clear, a new NAFTA is likely to push the region’s auto makers to source more parts from North America in order to create more jobs. Such an outcome could also raise costs for Detroit’s main car manufacturers.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo are pressing for a quick deal to avoid clashing with Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.

To do so, they must reach a compromise on several contentious U.S. demands, including raising the regional automotive content requirements to qualify for tariff-free trade.

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Trump’s negotiators had initially demanded North American-built vehicles contain 85 percent content made in NAFTA countries by value, up from 62.5 percent now, and said that half the value must be U.S.-made.

Industry officials say the regional demand has been cut to about 75 percent and the U.S. content pitch dropped.

Entering the USTR’s office near the White House, Freeland said the latest talks would focus on the auto sector rules of origin, calling it “the heart” of the new NAFTA.

“We have been making good progress. This is an issue which is fiendishly complex,” she told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump on Monday again fanned uncertainty by threatening to tie a NAFTA deal to Mexico’s immigration controls, a suggestion the Mexican government quickly dismissed.

Mexico, which at the outset of the Trump presidency said it would treat the NAFTA revamp as part of a general review of its relations with the United States, has pushed back in the talks by threatening to become less cooperative with Washington.

 Two weeks ago Mexico vowed to analyze all cooperation with the United States and the government on Tuesday circulated an official’s letter to the Mexican Senate saying President Enrique Pena Nieto would soon consider the findings of the review.
Arriving for talks with Lighthizer, Mexico’s Guajardo said flexibility will be needed to reach a deal. Guajardo said that Mexico would not accept any U.S. tariffs on aluminum or steel – another measure Trump has threatened to tie to NAFTA. A U.S. exemption to tariffs ends on by May 1.

Negotiators say a new NAFTA could be possible by early May.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In the coming 10 days we can really have a new agreement in principle,” said Moises Kalach, head of the international negotiating arm of the CCE business lobby, which represents the Mexican private sector at the talks.

“As soon as there is political will from the American government to go for a final deal, I think we can close this,” Kalach told Mexican radio. “We’ve had all our (negotiating) teams in Washington for two weeks and we will continue working all this week, the weekend and into next week.”

Reporting by David Lawder and Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Anthony Esposito, Dave Graham and Veronica Gomez in Mexico City; Editing by James Dalgleish and Grant McCool

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight

Published

on

A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."

It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.

The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.

The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

Published

on

Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

Published

on

Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link