Trump says open to bilateral Canada, Mexico pacts if NAFTA talks fail

Ivanka Trump was all smiles as she sat next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Gala and Washington DC

Ivanka Trump was all smiles as she sat next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Gala and Washington DC

Hosting the Canadian prime minister at the Oval Office, Trump said the U.S. had "a tough negotiation" over NAFTA ahead, which also includes Mexico, adding that it had to be fair to all countries.

The meeting, part of a bilateral "CEO dialogue" that meets a couple of times each year, included a closed-door discussion on the NAFTA negotiations addressed by Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo, who are in charge of the negotiations for Mexico. He'll meet with the deal's other major player, President Enrique Pena Nieto, on Thursday in Mexico City.

"We're concerned that we may be on a course to upset the trade balance in Nafta that has unquestionably led to a vibrant and successful auto industry in the United States", said Bozzella, whose group represents companies including Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

"It's possible we won't be able to reach a deal with one or the other". In terms of the fairness of NAFTA, I said we'll renegotiate. Mexico accuses U.S. President Donald Trump of spoiling for a "protectionist war" with proposals aimed at balancing trade. Trudeau, for his own part, cautioned against speculation and emphasized the prospects for an agreement.

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"The clear focus was that we have to send a message to all the different constituencies about how much of an error it would be to cancel NAFTA, or make a bad NAFTA", Vogel said in an interview with Reuters.

Trump and Trudeau met as negotiators from the three NAFTA countries gathered in the Washington suburb of Arlington to get the next round of trade talks under way.

While U.S. President Donald Trump and Trudeau have been friendly in public, privately their countries are driving hard bargains on trade. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has pledged to fight any pull-out and the House of Representative's powerful Ways and Means Committee is flexing its muscle to defend the accord. "We have to provide certainty for investment to succeed to create jobs and grow our economies".

"In terms of trade, the US sells more to Canada than it does to China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined". It has argued repeatedly that the trade pact is critical to US industries such as agriculture and manufacturing. "We have to protect our workers, and in all fairness the prime minister wants to protect his people also". He said the likelihood of passing a deal would drop after the so-called fast-track authority expires in July.

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John Bozzella, CEO of the Association of Global Automakers, said the group that represents overseas-based carmakers in the USA has been "blizzarding" Capitol Hill to explain why the expected Nafta proposals are a problem. Trump administration officials have promised to cut the surplus.

"Let's just agree to disagree", Ross replied.

"My optimism toward NAFTA, toward a renegotiation, isn't based on personality or reading political tea leaves", Trudeau said following his talks with Trump. Negotiators face a list of daunting US demands, including a sharply increased USA content in autos manufactured under the deal.

Harper, whose Conservatives governed Canada from 2006 to 2015, warned that companies should be studying the consequences if the deal collapses. So we'll see what happens with NAFTA, but I've been opposed to NAFTA for a long time. And American trade negotiators are also talking tough on dairy and wine. They're going to do well; we're going to do well, but maybe that won't be necessary. But he stressed that Trump needed fundamental changes.

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On Tuesday, Donohue also singled out a "sunset clause" that would automatically terminate NAFTA every five years unless there were fresh negotiations. We don't desire that it will.

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