U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says big differences remain between NAFTA nations.
Recently, Justin Trudeau said a NAFTA deal was close, and the last major sticking point was whether there would be a “sunset clause” where the deal automatically had to be renegotiated on a fixed schedule every five years.
Canada and Mexico oppose the sunset clause, while the US wants it.
However, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the countries are “nowhere near close to a deal.”
“There are gaping differences … We of course will continue to engage in negotiations, and I look forward to working with my counterparts to secure the best possible deal for American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses,” said Lighthizer.
After making positive comments on the issue of the auto industry within NAFTA, Trudeau was also contradicted by Mexico’s economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo:
— Ildefonso Guajardo (@ildefonsogv) May 17, 2018
How much of this is bluster and positioning for negotiation purposes remains to be seen. This is just one of many difficulties facing the Canadian economy, and the uncertainty over trade is adding to the uncertainty being caused by the anti-business attitude of the government, collapsing investment, and the Trans Mountain pipeline crisis.
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