Trudeau acknowledges NAFTA gloom, says he's ready for anything

He sounds like he really means

He sounds like he really means

North American Free Trade Agreement negotiators are set to cover the hard issue of government procurement on Thursday as they try to revamp the pact that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to terminate.

Wednesday signaled the first day of the fourth round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington D.C.

"It is possible that we may not be able to hear us with one or the other of the two countries", said the billionaire Donald Trump in front of reporters in the oval Office before the meeting between the two leaders.

Trump added that a "very creative" deal was still possible to benefit all three countries.

He was speaking at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said Canada was "braced" for Trump's unpredictability but taking a serious approach to the NAFTA talks.

Trudeau wouldn't say Wednesday at what point Canada might be prepared to walk away, if ever.

"Some of us in Mexico think that on several occasions our Canadian friends have come close to throwing us under the bus", said Arturo Sarukhan, the former Mexican ambassador to the USA, said at a NAFTA-related event hosted by Dentons law firm in D.C. on Wednesday.

"The clear focus was that we have to send a message to all the different constituencies about how much of an error it would be to cancel NAFTA, or make a bad NAFTA", Vogel said in an interview with Reuters.

He also spoke about the possibility of signing a bilateral agreement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday accused Trump's administration of trying to sabotage the talks with "poison pill proposals", including demands for more favorable treatment for the U.S. side on auto production, and a "sunset clause" to force regular negotiations.

Trump's hardline positions in the negotiations are drawing increasing resistance in the USA, leaving the administration isolated at the negotiating table.

Both Canada and the USA differ in the climate change. "We have to protect our workers, and in all fairness, the prime minister wants to protect Canada and his people also".

Trump's stance has, however, been criticised by United States businesses.

"We don't hope it will, we don't desire that it will, we don't believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility as we go forward", Ross said.

"There's been huge investments in Canada, the US and Mexico, that are long-term assets", said Don Walker, chief executive officer of Magna International Inc. a Canada-based parts maker with more than 25,000 employees in the U.S.

Raising Mexican wages is one U.S. negotiating objective, a U.S. Trade Rep's fact sheet says, along with eliminating the ISDS.

People briefed on USA proposals to be presented this week said Washington was seeking to sharply lift North American content threshold in vehicle manufacturing.

Under current rules, at least 62% of the parts in a auto sold in North America must come from the region to avoid being hit with taxes at the border.

Earlier Wednesday, during meetings with members of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Canadian prime minister stressed that he did not want negotiations to collapse.

Those proposals are considered poison pills by Canada and Mexico.

Once again, President Trump is throwing around threats to nix the trade deal that's been in place for more than 20 years.

"Instead of encouraging more US content, these provisions will lead to less USA content", Wilson said.

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