Trump says 'we'll see' on NAFTA talks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the White House in February. Trudeau plans to discuss NAFTA security issues and NATO with Trump during his stay in Washington

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the White House in February. Trudeau plans to discuss NAFTA security issues and NATO with Trump during his stay in Washington

Asked by a reporter if he could envision maintaining free trade with Canada if NAFTA talks sour with Mexico, Trump said: "Oh sure, absolutely".

Donohue said potentially toxic U.S. proposals include tightening the "rules of origin" to demand certain amounts of American-made content in products, scrapping NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism and a "sunset clause" requiring the deal to be unanimously renewed every five years.

However, President Trump has long called for the U.S.to pull out of NAFTA, because it is unfair to the U.S.

He said the 23-year-old accord is facing an "existential threat" because of the Trump administration's hardline stance. "We'll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need".

Trudeau heads Thursday to Mexico for his first official visit to the country and his sit-down with President Enrique Pena Nieto comes as officials in that country appear to be preparing for the deal to collapse.

The latest round of NAFTA talks kicked off with a discussion of government procurement, already a thorny subject - USA negotiators suggested during the last round in Ottawa that they want to limit Canadian and Mexican access to US projects.

Trump was speaking in the Oval Office beside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is trying to convince the United States president of NAFTA's merits as a new round of renegotiations began on Wednesday near Washington. The negotiations were extended on Wednesday by two days to October 17. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo are now expected to meet on October 17 to wrap up the latest round, according to officials familiar with plans who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Speaking in Washington on Tuesday, Freeland declined to predict what Nafta will look like in the future and reiterated Canada believes in free trade.

"What we'd like to do with Nafta is modernize it".

President Donald Trump is welcoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for talks expected to focus on trade and aviation.

"If the required content to hit the threshold for a Nafta vehicle is too high, people may say, "Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in", Magna International CEO Don Walker said in an interview ahead of the talks. Mexican Presidential elections and USA mid-term elections scheduled for next year threaten to add to tensions in negotiations.

Trudeau's mission today will be to reverse the airplane levies and assure Trump that NAFTA needs no alterations.

Trump can withdraw the US from the deal after giving Canada and Mexico six months' notice, though experts debate whether the president would require congressional approval.

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