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Florida business groups to Trump: Back off plans to kill NAFTA

Florida business groups to Trump: Back off plans to kill NAFTA

His tour of Canada's partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement comes as negotiators from the three countries meet in the United States for their latest round of what Trump vowed would be "tough" talks on a new version of NAFTA.

Hosting the Canadian prime minister at the Oval Office, Trump said the USA had "a tough negotiation" over NAFTA ahead, which also includes Mexico, adding that it had to be fair to all countries.

Asked during his appearance with Trudeau whether NAFTA was dead, Trump said, "We'll see what happens".

Canada and Mexico want their companies to be able to bid on more US federal and state government contracts, but this is at odds with Trump's "Buy American" agenda. The business lobby group said there were "several poison pill proposals" put on the table by the United States that could tank the renegotiations.

Trudeau later said he was optimistic that an agreement would be reached.

Trudeau will travel to Mexico on Thursday to hold additional NAFTA talks with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto.

His primary goal was to protect United States workers, Trump said, noting Trudeau would also seek to protect Canadians.

But Mexico has always been the lone developing country in the trade pact, with wages that are significantly lower than in Canada or the U.S. Critics say this fact gives Mexico an unfair advantage in NAFTA - a criticism that President Trump has echoed.

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But he added: "President Trump played the role of "the terminator" on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal". But Mexican leaders have also warned that talks must conclude early next year before their presidential election campaign gets underway.

Canada is the number one export destination for most American states, and cross-border trade and investment support almost nine million jobs in the United States. But some agricultural products would be slapped with with far higher duties, including a 25% hike on shipments of beef, 45% on turkey, 75% on chicken, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup sent to Mexico from the US.

In a speech on the same day in Mexico City, US Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Tom Donohue warned: "There are several poison-pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal".

"Other automotive powerhouses in the developed world such as Germany and Japan also have complex and integrated supply chains similar to the U.S., with access to low cost production", the group said. The National Automobile Dealers Association said it was concerned about any changes that would make cars costlier. Those "could doom the entire deal", Thomas Donohue, the Chamber's CEO said October 11. "We'll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need". Under the U.S. proposal, America would require more to be made in the country and less sourced from other members of the block.

Current NAFTA rules require cars have at least 62.5 percent of their parts made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. "Any trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous is a good sign that it's moving in the right direction for workers".

Ottawa and Bombardier in turn accused Boeing of manipulating the US Trade Remedy System to try to stop a rival from selling on the US aviation market.

"If the required content to hit the threshold for a NAFTA vehicle is too high, people may say, 'Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in, '" Magna International Inc.

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