A New NAFTA Deal Doesn't Seem Close, Despite Deadline

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Ryan pointed out that he's intimately familiar with the workings of that 2015 law: "I wrote it".

Canada and Mexico expressed continued resistance Thursday to the US proposal for a so-called sunset clause that would kill NAFTA after five years unless all parties agree to extend it. Trudeau said the idea is still a sticking point, while Guajardo said it was out of the question.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday in NY that Mexico had made proposals that "will go a long way towards reducing the trade deficit the US has with Mexico and indeed even bringing back some auto jobs from Mexico to the United States".

Guajardo said Mexico's negotiators had discussed the Mexican auto sector proposal during a "productive" meeting with Lighthizer.

"Each one faces a different challenge". "I think you could probably dial back some of the talks and maybe not have the full-court press we've had for the last couple of months".

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Retooling auto industry rules is the central plank of the Trump administration's push to make changes to NAFTA that bring more jobs and investment to the United States.

Those impending tariffs, the July 1 Mexican election, and the USA congressional calendar, had all created pressure for an imminent deal. Additionally, the U.S. wants to set higher wage standards for a vehicle to be duty-free. She said a five-year sunset accomplishes neither. It also contained a flexible salary-related component, according to a fifth person.

Lighthizer's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One of the most contentious issues in talks has been the USA push to tighten the rules of origin, which govern how much regional content a vehicle must have to qualify for NAFTA's duty-free benefits.

"We are definitely making progress. We have to have the paper from USTR by May 17 for us to vote on it this year, in December, in the lame duck", Ryan said at an event on Wednesday. "We are certainly very, very hard at work", she said.

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Since his presidential campaign, Trump has called the NAFTA accord, which took effect in 1994, a "horrible" deal for the USA and threatened to withdraw if it could not be renegotiated.

Talks were expected to continue on Wednesday.

Moreover, presidential elections take place in Mexico in July, and the expected victor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is a populist who could take a harder line on NAFTA.

Trump blames NAFTA for causing USA manufacturing jobs to be moved to Mexico. But many members of Congress- including Republicans - say the clause protects U.S. businesses as well. MacNaughton said Canadian and Mexican officials plan to hold talks in Washington, without saying when. They did not reflect how the industry increasingly relied on high-tech electronics, he said. But there has been no clear sign of a conclusive breakthrough on the most contentious issues.

Pro-trade Republican lawmakers may find themselves in a tough spot if Trump presents them with a union-friendly deal that prevents investors from being able to sue foreign governments in tribunals, or requires more automobile production in the US, or includes a sunset clause that could automatically kill the deal after five years.

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