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US NAFTA autos negotiator called from Mexico for consultations

03 March 2018

Amid the latest round of NAFTA talks and a White House meeting with a key lawmaker on trade, a poll released by a business group Monday found that a majority of its members believe that the US economy would be adversely affected if President Donald Trump follows through on his threats to withdraw from the trade agreement.

Mexican negotiators have said the auto content issue must be resolved in large part between the White House and the Big Three Detroit automakers who dominate the industry.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called the Canadian proposal on cars "vague", and argued it would reduce the share of a vehicle made within the region.

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If the U.S. were to withdraw from NAFTA, tariffs on United States chemical exports to Mexico and Canada would likely snap back to Most Favoured Nation tariff schedules at a minimum, said the ACC CEO.

The three countries began a round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Mexico, that is due to end on March 5.

"The timing is awkward".

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Seeking to break the deadlock, the Mexican government has said it would put forward a proposal on rules of origin during the current round of talks, but a Mexican official said on Monday no new ideas had been presented so far. The disagreement came about because of Trump sticking by his demand that Mexico pays for a border wall between the two countries. Multi-billion dollar investments are "not made on a five-year horizon - they're being made on a 40-year horizon and are also predicated on having some consistent rules of trade and market opportunities", said Dooley. Speaking of Mexico, the planned meeting between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Washington, D.C., was canceled after the two leaders clashed on the phone recently. That's the hope of many groups looking for a positive outcome to the negotiations. A big reason for that is the shale-gas cost advantage of USA feedstocks, ACC said.

Castanon said several chapters are close to being finished, including measures on e-commerce, telecommunications and sanitary standards for agricultural products.

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US NAFTA autos negotiator called from Mexico for consultations