Florida business groups to Trump: Back off plans to kill NAFTA


A top trade specialist who was privy to nations' stands in talks for the now-dead Trans-Pacific Partnership, said in an informal conversation afterwards that the Trump administration's top bargainer, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, is dead set against the current "trade court", called the Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS). His reasoning appears to be that if he lets it die, then he can strike a new deal that gives his country all the wins.

Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Trade, says Trump "very likely" has the legal authority to withdraw from NAFTA on his own if talks collapse.

One of the most contentious US proposals is around so-called rules of origin for vehicles, which govern what share of a auto must be built within NAFTA countries to receive the pact's benefits.

US President Donald Trump has said if talks to reform North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) fail, he could envisage a US-Canada trade pact, excluding Mexico.

Trudeau's government, agreeing with Canada's largest union, previously put the issue of worker rights in the US - specifically repeal of so-called "right-to-work" laws - on the NAFTA bargaining table.

Trudeau, who is on his second visit to the USA, seemed to be polite about Trump despite Canada's repeated collision with the United States due to the NAFTA negotiations. "Otherwise, I believe you can't negotiate a good deal".

Levy pegs the chance of NAFTA's survival at less than 50 percent.

Mexico has been more assertive with Washington, talking openly about abandoning NAFTA if need be or slashing imports of USA grain.

On the issue of taxation in the United States of 300 % of the countervailing duties and anti-dumping duty on the aircraft of the CSeries by Bombardier, the prime minister was said to have had frank discussions, but hard, with the president and expressed his disagreement.

The move comes after United States aircraft maker Boeing complained that its Canadian rival had received over $3 billion in subsidies from the Canadian federal government and the Quebec provincial government combined.

But he also asked for more access to Canada's dairy market.

Those proposals are considered poison pills by Canada and Mexico.

Visiting Washington on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he thinks "it is very important and very possible to get a win-win-win" from the NAFTA talks. But he acknowledged that "we have to be ready for anything — and we are". But Congress can fight back.

Canada and the United States share one of the largest trading relationships in the world.

For that reason, many agricultural lobbies and lawmakers from farm states have urged the administration to "do no harm" in the NAFTA talks. In addition, the United States wants to add a new 50 percent USA -specific content requirement, something that was not in the earlier agreements. The U.S. president has called the agreement a "disaster" that's cost U.S.jobs.

NAFTA supporters are already rallying.

"So saying, we are ready for anything and we will continue to work diligently to protect Canadian interests, to stand up for jobs, and look for opportunities for Canadian business and citizens of all of our friends and neighbour countries to do well".