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Talks on revising NAFTA extended into 2018

Talks on revising NAFTA extended into 2018

Failure could threaten jobs across North America, she said.

USA senators, including Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, pushed for a strong commitment to avoid currency manipulation in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that President Donald Trump withdrew from before lawmakers approved it.

NAFTA ripped down most trade barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Trump has blamed what he called poorly negotiated agreements for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs that hurt the US economy.

To cut the trade deficit with Mexico, the United States is demanding that more auto production be made in America before qualifying for NAFTA benefits.

After four rounds of talks squeezed into a two-month period, negotiators will now allow a month-long cooling-off period before returning to the bargaining table in Mexico on November 17.

Lighthizer made the statement at a news conference he held after he, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal made a joint statement on the conclusion of the fourth round of the NAFTA negotiations.

"We have seen no indications that our partners are willing to make any changes that will result in a rebalancing and a reduction in these huge trade deficits", he said.

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The Retail Industry Leaders Association, which encompasses more than 200 retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, added that Nafta's downfall would incur "massive" disruptions in agriculture and manufacturing as well as higher costs for USA consumers.

In the United States, legislation will expire in July that gives the Trump administration more extensive authority to negotiate trade deals and then submit them to Congress for a simple up or down vote, without amendments. Portman and other lawmakers said that provision, which wasn't part of the main TPP text, didn't go far enough.

"It is not clear how the (U.S.) administration would expect to reduce the trade deficit through the renegotiation". Lighthizer also continued to hammer Canada and Mexico on manufacturing policies that depend on exports to the United States.

"Proposed new USA national content requirements would severely disrupt the supply chains, make North American producers and manufactures less competitive relative to imports from outside the region and put in jeopardy tens of thousands of jobs across North America", Freeland said. "Canada believes that too", she said.

The Canadian government does not share that concern, said the official, who described the relationship on security and defence as being as strong as ever, despite the differences on trade.

The outcome could also damage the North American security relationship, straining cooperation to combat money laundering, terrorism, the drug trade and undocumented migrants coming through Central America, the report said.

Negotiators for Mexico and Canada expressed frustration after the talks concluded.

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