Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Lighthizer hints Mexico pact may need to be reopened if delayed — NAFTA

Lighthizer hints Mexico pact may need to be reopened if delayed — NAFTA

Lighthizer's comments were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Canada has also made clear that the United States needs to withdraw the threat of auto tariffs for a deal to be possible, say officials. "If you can't have some curb on the arbitrary use of tariffs under the guise of national security, with a member of NORAD and somebody who is your closest defence partner, then I don't think it's much of an agreement".

Trump has used an obscure "national security" provision of US trade law to impose tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum.

If a three-way deal isn't reached soon, the USA will break up the world's largest free-trade zone and instead pursue separate bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico, Mr. Lighthizer during the rare public appearance.

Getting the right deal for Canada, Trudeau said, "involves obviously feeling confident about the path forward, as we move forward, if we do, on a NAFTA 2.0", he said, including a "lack of punitive tariffs that we consider are unjust". Under U.S. trade law, the administration is required to submit to Congress a finalized, written agreement 60 days before it intends to sign it.

At a Toronto event sponsored by Politico Wednesday morning, Canada's ambassador in Washington said he had no talks planned this week for last-minute deal-making, although he could return quickly if required.

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"I think everybody knows what each other's position is on all of the major issues and I think it's really a question of whether or not the USA wants to have a deal".

MacNaughton said Canada is "anxious" to strike an agreement to bring some certainty to the investment climate and to open the door for Ottawa to start working more closely with the Americans on some of the bigger issues that confront both countries.

"We're certainly not going to give up", he said.

On Tuesday, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer told a conference on the fringes of the General Assembly that the two sides had "still a far amount of distance" between them.

"There are a number of significant issues between us".

However Lighthizer said today that if it's not done in time, then Lopez Obrador might want to renegotiate: "If we push it beyond that date then we have a new negotiation with Lopez Obrador and we don't know where that would go at all", he said.

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