NAFTA Negotiations continue with limited results
US President Donald Trump's top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, along with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, had been scheduled to unveil the end of the fourth round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington after a week of talks.
In public, Mexican and Canadian officials have pointed to progress in areas like telecommunications, financial services and digital trade. But Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said that the three countries had not found common ground and that the talks would not be concluded until 2018. Canada later accused the US of sabotaging renegotiations with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland saying the US was pursuing a "winner take all" approach.
Lighthizer said on he was “not focused on terminating NAFTA” and was trying to negotiate an update that “rebalances” the pact to reduce US trade deficits. Describing some of the US's demands as “ridiculously extreme,” Moises Kalach, head of the international negotiating arm of Mexico's CCE business lobby, told Reuters that the US government knew it would not be able to push them through.
"The US administration has now taken an extremely tough stance with respect to NAFTA," Monica de Bolle, a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Ending NAFTA would have a severe impact on the Mexican economy, and would undoubtedly hurt various sectors and companies both in Canada, and in the US”.