Trump's words hang over NAFTA table as U.S. business frets

STEPHEN CROWLEY  NYT

STEPHEN CROWLEY NYT

Mexico appears to be preparing for the worst as the fourth round of talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement open in Washington DC.

Canada and Mexico want their companies to be able to bid on more US federal and state government contracts, but this is at odds with Trump's "Buy American" agenda.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Mexico Thursday for high-level talks, on the heels of a tense visit to Washington that saw him spar with US President Donald Trump over trade.

Ottawa was set to purchase 18 new Super Hornets fighter jets from Boeing until the American aerospace firm successfully petitioned the Trump administration to impose anti-dumping penalties on its Canadian rival Bombardier over planes sold in the U.S. market.

"Growth could be 1 percent higher if the country had better accountability and more transparency".

On Friday, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown offered his support, saying it was "about time" United States trade negotiators "took the pen away from corporate lobbyists and started writing trade policy that puts American workers first". Commenting on a recent article he penned for Americas Quarterly, Herrera outlines why he thinks that more independents and parties competing to win will dampen prospects for one frontrunner in particular-leftist ex-Mayor of Mexico City Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The process of renegotiating NAFTA has turned increasingly sour.

Oil prices have suffered from data released late Wednesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showing a surprise build in United States crude inventories and gained little from a report by the International Energy Agency, released Thursday, suggesting the global oil market will be in balance next year despite rising output. But he said Canada had to "be ready for anything" if the attempts to modernise the 23-year-old deal faltered.

"If we can't make a deal, it'll be terminated and that will be fine", Trump said. But some agricultural products would be slapped with with far higher duties, including a 25% hike on shipments of beef, 45% on turkey, 75% on chicken, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup sent to Mexico from the US.

He said it was important to make sure the populations affected understand how the treaty benefits them. Higgins' Western New York district, which covers the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, includes four global crossings between the US and Canada. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday he expected an agreement would be reached on that issue.

"The latest round of NAFTA re-negotiations represents a real opportunity for the Trump Administration to make meaningful progress in essential negotiations".

He cited in particular a provision to allow the agreement to expire in five years unless all parties agreed to extend it. This week the influential US Chamber of Commerce warned it was time to "ring alarm bells" over the NAFTA talks.

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