U.S. tables NAFTA's 'poison pill' with auto sector demands

STEPHEN CROWLEY  NYT

The Trump administration continues efforts to improve the United States' trade deals as NAFTA talks are ongoing.

At the NAFTA talks, Canada has introduced a proposal aimed at compelling Mexico to pay workers higher wages and do away with so-called "yellow" unions that represent employers rather than employees. With that in mind, he said he's warned USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer to tread carefully around the sector.

A new report claims the U.S.is proposing the lifespan of any new trade deal be limited to five years.

But Mexico and Canada insist there is no point updating the pact with such a threat hanging over it, arguing the clause would stunt investment by sowing too much uncertainty about the future of the agreement.

He explained that Mexico is already preparing a back-up plan if NAFTA "goes sideways".

His remarks and the tension around NAFTA helped push the peso down 1 percent against the US dollar to a five-month low. Furthermore, Washington insists 50 percent of content must be USA -made.

His comments came after Canada's producers lowered their prices for dairy ingredients to make them more competitive against cheaper American imports.

London refuses to confirm the death of a jihadist british in Syria
However, it was kept secret on both sides of the Atlantic over fears her 12-year-old son Jojo may have also died in the blast. British IS recruiter Sally-Anne Jones, dubbed the White Widow, is understood to have been killed in a USA drone strike.

Delegates from the United States, Canada and Mexico are meeting in Arlington, Virginia, this week for a fourth round to try to revise the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which allows tariff-free trade across the three borders.

Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, seeking to downplay any setbacks in the latest round of negotiations, said on Friday that tension in the talks was only natural.

Trump on Wednesday repeated his warnings that he might terminate the pact and said he was open to doing a bilateral deal with either Canada or Mexico.

Negotiators were also set to cover the hard issue of government procurement on Thursday. In 2011, Mexico successfully used targeted tariffs on USA goods such as pork and cheese to win a dispute over trucks.

One of the sources close to the talks said Washington wants to increase the North American content requirement for trucks, autos and large engines to 85 percent from 62.5 percent over a period of years.

Both demands would upend the current automotive sector, with the proposal being described by industry analysts as a "poison pill" for the trade agreement.

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