Canada a safe branch plant of the US

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Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo met U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Lighthizer during a hastily arranged visit to Washington as U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials held a seventh round of negotiations to rework NAFTA. "If the political will is there, I am certain that we have a path to a paid and successful conclusion". These aren't the sort of things you can just decide bang, bang. We make best use of our resources when we produce goods and services at their lowest-sacrifice cost.

The stated reason for the hurry now is simple: It's the US argument that political events beyond the spring could make it harder to finish a deal and get final ratification votes. The other is that Mexico doesn't need us as much as it did. Mexico has a presidential election in July, and the campaign - and the rhetoric that comes with it - kicks off in a few weeks.

A more realistic timetable in Weekes's mind would be a deal by December.

"You never discuss publicly anything you're going to do, until you do it, if you are a responsible government", Mulroney said. "It's time we build a new agreement with Europe". "Nearly all of the easy issues have been resolved".

Compare the current and past timetables.

Lighthizer expressed disappointment that only six of the 30 chapters in NAFTA had been agreed upon after seven months of negotiations.

Speaking on a conference call with analysts on Wednesday afternoon after reporting fourth-quarter results, Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said that, while it was hard to comment on the overall impact of the proposed tariffs given further details have yet to be revealed, it would be harmful to the U.S.

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"Our time is running very short", Lighthizer said during a ministerial briefing.

But the NAFTA veterans suspect something else is afoot. And, when we spoke with the USA negotiators they were pretty happy with the results that they got out of Canada and Mexico. And that is where the tariffs and the possibility of a trade war are hitting so much closer to home in all three countries involved in the NAFTA talks. The OTMP's Navarro has suggested that a formal announcement of the tariffs may not come until next week.

The case has also been made that if the tariffs are meant to punish China, then they will miss the mark.

Simon Lester, an expert on WTO law at the libertarian Cato Institute, said there was also a risk that the European Union could set a precedent akin to the one it was accusing the U.S. of making by using a rarely used national security loophole in global trade rules. "We are definitely going to end up with these tariffs and we are going to roll these out quickly". Agriculture is a potential target for retaliatory tariffs from China if Trump pushes ahead. And he would ignore the Economics 101 lectures about tariffs being mutually destructive.

But, he said, countries that don't like the sound of that should make him an offer.

Instead, EU officials argue that the U.S. move appears to be a "safeguard" action - temporary tariffs that WTO rules allow in response to unanticipated import surges that hurt local industries.

Canada-U.S. relations have always had a hint of that size mismatch, but it was softened by neighbourly feeling. "With a productive NAFTA for the future that provides certainty, access and enforceability, the US chemical industry is poised to create significant growth and new jobs, helping President Trump deliver the kind of economy that Americans deserve". He's a veteran trade lawyer, a pro in the field. News late Tuesday of the departure of former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn stoked suspicions he'd lost in a tug-of-war over tariffs.

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