Trump comments on NAFTA negotiations

NAFTA negotiations are on the ropes

NAFTA negotiations are on the ropes

Canada welcomes the suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump that the deadline for concluding talks to modernize NAFTA could be extended beyond the end of March, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Friday.

The leader of one of Mexico's top business lobbies said on Thursday the private sector was open to discussing rules of origin for autos produced in North America, a major sticking point in talks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade pact.

Trump told the Wall Street Journa, l in an interview published on Thursday, that Mexico could pay for the wall.

The president also suggested gains to the USA from a revamped NAFTA could be used to pay for a southern border wall, which he has previously called on Mexico to finance.

While area auto parts suppliers have been enjoying a streak of good business, the border expert said many USA manufacturers don't consider the current situation when they evaluate the impact of NAFTA. "Guess what? Mexico's paying". Under spending plans submitted to Congress last week, the Trump administration wants $18 billion over the next 10 years to pay for the wall.

"The President of Mexico (Enrique Pena Nieto) has been very clear: Mexico will never pay for this wall", Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo wrote on Twitter after a day of meetings in Washington.

Canadian officials said this week there's an increased likelihood Trump will follow through on his exit threat.

During that period Canada was the fourth-largest US pork destination in both volume and value, with total shipments from the United States at 190,592 metric tons worth $723.4 million, said USMEF.

Though observers in Canada and Mexico have become increasingly gloomy about the upcoming January 23-28 Montreal round in recent weeks, some took heart from a recent speech made by Trump to farmers this week in which he held back from provocative comments about the trade deal. "I think it would be especially bad for this region because we're so closely integrated into the USA economy", said Anderson.

"We believe it is absolutely possible, if there is goodwill on all sides, to have a positive outcome in Montreal", she said.

She said the government is treating the USA threat seriously.

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