Mexican auto exports surge in 2017 despite NAFTA fears

11 January, 2018, 09:30 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Canada criticizes US softwood lumber duties, vows to resist

USA stocks, struggling to maintain record-setting altitude in 2018, took a firmer slide Wednesday afternoon amid a report that Canadian officials expect that President Donald Trump will announce an end to the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a Reuters.

The auto and freight sectors are considered to be the most "at risk" in the NAFTA renegotiation talks as movement of manufacturing facilities and lower trade volume could hurt financial results and decrease productivity. The Mexican peso also fell. A White House official, speaking on background, said there hasn't been any change in the president's position on the North American Free Trade Agreement. The peso fell as much as 0.9 per cent to 19.3963 per USA dollar, before rebounding later in the day.

The rate on Canada's two-year government bonds declined seven basis points to 1.73 per cent, dropping from a six-year high reached Tuesday. It is more likely a "zombie NAFTA" will continue even if Trump pulls out, as such an action could be held up in the USA court system and members of congress would have to authorize the addition of new tariffs on goods from Canada.

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Despite those preparations for a possible pullout, Canada will stay at the negotiation table even if Trump makes that call, those sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Trump fell short Monday on making any firm promises that a NAFTA update could be done, although he told farmers he wanted a better deal for them during remarks to the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Nashville, Tenn. The US is insisting on a five-year automatic termination clause, stricter rules on autos, government procurement and dairy, and the overhaul or elimination of dispute panels. "The timing on this, while potentially unfortunate as we are in a trade negotiation with USA, but the WTO moves poisonously slowly", Dawson said of Canada's move. A withdrawal notice doesn't mean Nafta would be killed - a country can give notice and then not actually leave.

"What isn't clear is whether six months down the road this means the end of Nafta, or does Congress stall, does Canada play for time?"

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