Britain could join NAFTA if Brexit trade deal fails: Telegraph newspaper

Britain could join NAFTA if Brexit trade deal fails: Telegraph newspaper

U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators are meeting in Arlington, Virginia, this week for a fourth round to try to revise the 23-year-old agreement, which allows the tariff-free flow of vehicles and parts across the three borders.

Victor Herrera, who's spent 35 years covering Latin American financial markets, warns that NAFTA's demise would have major effects.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, one of Trump's top trade advisers, downplayed the chances that a NAFTA termination would become necessary.

Mexico's foreign relations secretary says his country won't accept "limited, managed trade", an apparent reference to demands for higher U.S. and regional content rules on products like auto parts.

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Of course this reasoning applies if one assumes Trump wants to update NAFTA for the 21st century rather than bury it. The National Automobile Dealers Association said it was concerned about any changes that would make cars costlier.

One reason for the short time frame is Mexico's highly contested 2018 presidential race. Disruption was felt in all three countries, especially Mexico. Speaking in Mexico on Tuesday, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, said the negotiations had "reached a critical moment".

This scenario carries the most risk, Barutciski said, as it would involve the US president "recalibrating" and making a number of unilateral decisions such as imposing direct tariffs on Canadian dairy producers, Mexican trucking companies or any number of other products the USA brings in via its northern or southern borders.

"We'll see what happens", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after being asked whether NAFTA was dead. "Or are we going to take a back seat because we refused to cast aside our differences with our greatest trading allies?"

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Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a NAFTA deal but noted that Canadians must be "ready for anything". Harper joins Rona Ambrose, former interim Conservative leader and Brian Mulroney, former Progressive Conservative prime minister. Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, both D-Mich., and both with auto and part plants, though not as many as once loomed there.

But U.S. and Mexican corporate chief executives gathered in Mexico City said they would be better off with no NAFTA than be saddled with a "bad agreement". This week, his government revealed it would investigate buying surplus fighter jets from Australia rather than complete a contract to buy new fighters from Boeing.

Other contentious US proposals opposed by Canada, Mexico and USA business interests include the five-year sunset provision, radical changes to NAFTA's dispute arbitration systems, changes to intellectual property provisions and new protections for US seasonal produce growers. On the campaign trail, he called NAFTA a job-killing disaster. Much as the death of NAFTA would deeply wound our country's economy, it would be in our long-term interest to pursue new world markets rather than submit to Trump's bullying and blackmail. "We've gotta make people know what the ISDS is".

The fourth round of talks will extend to October 17.

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