Trump's NAFTA termination comment falls flat in Arizona

Aug 25, 2017, 01:25
Trump's NAFTA termination comment falls flat in Arizona

The agreement covers trade between the three countries, with a fundamental principle of elimination of tariffs across North America.

The president's threat itself is no surprise. "We should not take that for granted". In other words, this move would make it voluntary for the NAFTA countries to opt into the investor-state dispute settlement system (ISDS, which functions as an alternative to domestic court systems and lets corporations sue governments if they feel the value of their foreign investments have been diminished by governmental actions), meaning, more or less, that foreign investors would have to take any disputes through the US court system. "Ultimately, I think that we will eventually cancel the NAFTA agreement".

"I don't think we can come to an agreement, he added".

Trade experts say Trump's tough talk could all be a ploy to make Mexico and Canada bend to his demands.

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James Jones, who served as President Bill Clinton's ambassador to Mexico and helped negotiate NAFTA in the mid-1990s, predicted that Lighthizer and his team of negotiators would seek to use Trump's tough talk to their advantage. "Mexico will remain at the table with serenity, firmness and with the national interest ahead". It's his main source of power to force the other countries to reach an agreement. It's nearly as if you can have one or the other.

"This was always a card we knew the president would likely play ... it may have been a bit earlier than expected", the official said on the condition of anonymity.

Canada sent Freeland, a senior cabinet minister, to attend the talks and say that "Canada doesn't view trade surpluses or deficits as a primary measure of whether trade works", thus aligning her country with the view of the vast majority of experts who've looked at the issue.

"He's negotiating in his own particular style", he told Mexican television.

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That episode in April underscored the complexity of ending NAFTA. "The president's going to have to make a choice when he get a pretty vanilla NAFTA modernization-whether or not he's going to withdraw".

Lighthizer said he wants provisions to protect against dumping of low-priced products and unfair competition from state-owned enterprises. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, a strong proponent of NAFTA, said in an emailed statement that he "will continue to speak up for the countless Arizonans whose jobs and businesses rely on the billions of dollars that NAFTA injects into our state's economy".

USA stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors grappled with a threat from President Donald Trump to shut down the government if Congress fails to fund a Mexico border wall. In addition, the US Constitution makes clear that Congress has power over worldwide commerce.

"They could be sued because somebody could argue that they made investments here, so you owe us".

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"We can not ignore the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the businesses that have closed or moved because of incentives - intended or not - in the current agreement", he said.

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