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Trump increases pressure on Mexico and Canada to sign NAFTA

10 March 2018

Prime ministerial spokesman Cameron Ahmad says Trudeau plans to meet with workers, business leaders, industry leaders and union leaders to demonstrate his support for those who may be affected by the tariffs.

"Negotiations to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement have, by all accounts, not gone well since they began past year", the Conference Board of Canada report said.

"If we don't make the deal on NAFTA, and if we terminate NAFTA. we'll start all over again".

The Trudeau government has been lobbying aggressively for Canada to be excluded from the tariffs, but there have been conflicting signals from the White House about the possibility of any exemptions. "We'll take no deal rather than a bad one".

In Mexico, the main U.S. negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, said that the revision of the pact was slower than expected with only six chapters completed with 30 pending, since the parties began negotiations in August 2017.

Investment could decline further in the long term, as the collapse of NAFTA would hurt Canada's ability to attract investment based on secured access to the US market, further affecting long-term economic growth, the analysis adds. "While I appreciate the President listening to our case for exempting Canada and Mexico, these tariffs should be further narrowed in order to reduce unintended consequences".

Canada is the No. 1 seller of both steel and aluminum to the U.S. He said it was only upon careful calculation of import effects that the numbers landed at 25 per cent and 10 per cent. "NAFTA discussions will be part of that only because NAFTA is an important part of the security relationship within the hemisphere".

The lobbying found a mostly receptive audience: the USA military strongly resisted tariffs against allies, and 107 congressional Republicans released a letter this week to express their alarm over the move.

"This work continues and it will continue until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted". He said they need to contact US trade czar Robert Lighthizer, and negotiate.

Sparwasser said Canada, along with other European countries, including Germany, have benefited from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union that was signed in 2016, as "a way to balance" countries' trade interests.