US, Mexico reach trade "understanding", Trump threatens to cut out Canada

Tuesday, 28 Aug, 2018

Mr. Trump scheduled an 11 a.m. ET announcement from the Oval Office.

"I desire, I wish that the part with Canada will be materializing in a very concrete fashion, and we can have an agreement the way we proposed it from the initiation of this renegotiating process, a tripartite", Peña-Nieto said through a translator.

The president's own staff then also undercut the message. He said the trade deal between Mexico and the United States "was the largest trade deal ever made". Lighthizer noted that any signing would be delayed until Congress was informed and a 90-day waiting period passed. "I will terminate the existing deal", the president insisted. "It depends on what the timetable is with Congress". That would appear to be impossible if the three countries do not finalize a complete deal this week. The U.S. and Mexico are pushing for an agreement this month that would give the countries time to sign the pact before Lopez Obrador takes office in December.

NAFTA negotiations are suddenly looking ominous for Canada.

The second is the timing.

Still, an accord between the USA and Mexico is the biggest development in talks that began a year ago, punctuated by Trump's repeated threats to quit altogether.

The New York Times reported that Canada was largely absent from the latest round of negotiations between the us and Mexico, and would rejoin negotiations after the USA and Mexico hammered out a bilateral deal.

The deal also would require 40 percent to 45 percent of auto content to be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour, the second official said. "This is a normal, orderly way to arrive at an agreement with three people".

He added that "given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the U.S. and Mexico, [Foreign Affairs] Minister [Chrystia] Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations".

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Under Monday's preliminary agreement, Mexico agreed to ensure that 75 percent of automotive content be produced within Mexico and the US, up from the current 62.5 percent, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

"To obtain an agreement with Trump, the government of Mexico turned its back on a friend nation, Canada", Mexican analyst and columnist Alejandro Hope said on Twitter.

The administrations of Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto have been working for five weeks to resolve specific bilateral issues so Canada can rejoin the talks.

Canadian officials have said the US and Mexico were primarily focused on issues only affecting their countries during the discussions that did not involve Canada.

The president says he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Even once Canada agrees, any NAFTA deal between the three countries would have to be ratified.

"The easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in".

Talks to update Nafta began a year ago, but in recent weeks have been held between just the USA and Mexico. (The Administration said Monday that it believes that it has met its legal requirement).

The US presidents said he meant to terminate NAFTA while he pursues trade deals with Mexico and starts negotiations with Canada. It would also require 40% to 45% of the auto to be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour.