The North American Free Trade Agreement could be on the verge of disintegration after coming under sustained attack from Donald Trump, a longtime critic of the three-nation deal. He was speaking at the White House on Wednesday with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BBC reported.
Trump, as we know, does not share that view, denouncing the agreement in August as "the worst trade deal ever made".
"So saying, we are ready for anything and we will continue to work diligently to protect Canadian interests, to stand up for jobs, and look for opportunities for Canadian business and citizens of all of our friends and neighbour countries to do well".
"If the required content to hit the threshold for a NAFTA vehicle is too high, people may say, 'Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in, '" Magna International Inc. Trudeau has said he is optimistic about the deal's fate but admitted there was room for improvement. "Nafta has benefited millions of people and can benefit millions more", Trudeau said, although he added that Nafta could use a "much-needed upgrade".
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If there is a silver lining to the cloud-covered attempts to salvage North America's 24-year-old trade pact, it is in witnessing former Canadian political foes rallying together for the cause.
For last one and a half years, US President Trump criticised the agreement and also hinted to take some serious steps being in the administration or at least send some ultimatums.
Both Canada and the USA are in favour of making an environment agreement in the new NAFTA instead of designing a separate deal. "There are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal". Still, to this day, President Trump has seemed more interested in placing "poison pills" and renewing reckless threats to withdraw entirely from this mutually beneficial trade agreement, rather than working with our global allies and neighbors to find solutions that directly aids American production and labor. And, to their credit, our Administration has made progress in limiting the most extreme aspects of President Trump's proposals. He said "it would not be the end of the world". "I said we'll renegotiate". "But for the love of God don't do any harm to something that has been so economically beneficial to states all across America". Donohue pledged to fight "like hell" to defend NAFTA if Trump tries to pull out, and urged Lighthizer to get a deal.
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Under current rules, at least 62% of the parts in a vehicle sold in North America must come from the region to avoid being hit with taxes at the border. Under the United States proposal, America would require more to be made in the country and less sourced from other members of the block.
But US union leaders, including representatives at the AFL-CIO and the United Steelworkers, have expressed support for the deal's demise, a position shared by some Democrats. Yet we have seen that our politicians, like all Canadians, are willing to set aside ideological differences when the chips are down. Labor standards continue to be dismal, since Mexican workers are prevented from exercising their rights and bargaining for better wages and working conditions.
Chris Sands, a professor at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said Canada's problems marked "a new era of tough love" with Washington.
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