Looks like the negotiations aren’t going well.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the United States is offering no concessions in return for the concessions they are demanding from Canada and Mexico.
Said Ross, “We’re trying to do a difficult thing. We’re asking two countries to give up some privileges that they have enjoyed for 22 years. And we’re not in a position to offer anything in return. So that’s a tough sell. And I don’t know that we’ll get every single thing we want. The question is, will we get enough to make it worthwhile.”
While Ross’ comments make it appear the U.S. is willing to settle for less than their official list of demands, the approach of asking for concessions without expressing a willingness to reciprocate makes the talks very difficult.
Much of the issue is political, as neither the Canadian or Mexican government can afford to be seen as bowing down to U.S. demands without getting any benefit in return, while the Trump Administration wants a clear “win.”
As a result, both Canada and Mexico will likely reject the U.S. approach once again, in order to save face and protect national interests.
If that happens, the U.S. response will give a clue as to whether the negotiations can lead to an improved agreement, or whether the U.S. is really seeking to ensure the negotiations fail and bring about the end of NAFTA.
Watch some of Ross’s comments below: