Hosting the Canadian prime minister at the Oval Office, Trump said the United States had "a tough negotiation" over NAFTA ahead, which also includes Mexico, adding that it had to be fair to all countries. However, Trump has made clear he prefers bilateral trade deals and Canada is preparing for a hard NAFTA collapse scenario. Donohue pledged to fight "like hell" to defend NAFTA if Trump tries to pull out, and urged Lighthizer to get a deal.
President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put up a front of accommodation and cooperation at the White House that belies the alarms being raised by industry and farm groups over changes to Nafta being pushed by the U.S. Trudeau has said he is optimistic about the deal's fate but admitted there was room for improvement.
"The comedy show is unfolding in Washington, there's no question about it", he said.
The two met one day after an interview was published in Forbes magazine in which Trump said that NAFTA had been "a bad deal for our country".
He also spoke about the possibility of signing a bilateral agreement.
Trump wants it to be 85 percent, including 50 percent from the U.S. The Chamber of Commerce called that a "poison pill" in the NAFTA talks. "So we'll see what happens with Nafta, but I've been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta". "Or are they going to take this as a pretext and say, 'We tried negotiations; they failed". "We'll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need".
"So saying, we are ready for anything and we will continue to work diligently to protect Canadian interests, to stand up for jobs, and look for opportunities for Canadian business and citizens of all of our friends and neighbour countries to do well". Reuters-London reports Britain could join a formal trade alliance with the United States, Canada and Mexico if the European Union refuses to finalize a post-Brexit trade deal by 2019.
NAFTA negotiators face tough new US demands to increase regional content for autos to 85 percent from 62.5 percent, with 50 percent from the United States, according to people briefed on the plan.
The negotiators are under pressure to reach a deal this year before presidential elections in Mexico and midterm elections in the United States raise the political temperature in 2018.
"U.S. negotiators have made conditions so tough that Mexico and Canada could reject them, which would be the ideal excuse for the US government to announce its departure from NAFTA", Coutino wrote.
However, Trump continued to disparage the 23-year-old accord and promote the idea of bilateral trade deals.
The auto parts study was conducted before these targets were revealed. But Mexico strongly opposes a USA -specific content requirement, which would limit the growth of its own vehicle industry.
The fourth round of talks will extend to October 17. The negotiations were extended on Wednesday by two days to Oct 17. The U.S. auto parts industry employs about 870,000 workers.
IMF Economic Counsellor Maurice Obstfeld warned Tuesday that all three NAFTA countries faced economic consequences if the outcome of the talks ended up disrupting trade relations.