Mexico, Canada shun NAFTA autos counteroffers: sources

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Divisions over updating the NAFTA commerce deal confirmed no signal of easing on Sunday as Mexico and Canada signaled they’d not provide counterproposals to U.S. calls for for much stronger automotive content material guidelines, folks with data of the talks stated.

Flags are pictured through the fifth spherical of NAFTA talks involving the USA, Mexico and Canada, in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, November 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

The shortage of motion on main points resembling autos guidelines of origin may put the North American Free Commerce Settlement negotiations in peril of grinding to a stalemate as an early 2018 deadline for revising the pact approaches.

A supply near the negotiations stated Mexico had severe issues with quite a lot of U.S. proposals, together with Washington’s demand that regional content material for autos be raised to 85 % from 62.5 %, with 50 % coming from the USA.

The supply additionally stated that Mexico couldn’t settle for a U.S. proposal that will prohibit imports of some Mexican produce at sure occasions to guard growers.

Mexico doesn’t plan to make counterproposals in these areas, the supply stated, including that the U.S. autos proposal was “unviable” and would “make the area much less aggressive.”

A Canadian supply with data of the negotiations stated Canada additionally supposed to chorus from providing an autos counterproposal and as an alternative make a presentation on Monday arguing that the U.S. calls for would trigger severe harm to each U.S. and North American automotive manufacturing.

The USA, Canada and Mexico are holding the fifth of seven deliberate rounds of talks to modernize NAFTA, which U.S. President Donald Trump blames for job losses and large commerce deficits for his nation.

“The talks are actually not going anyplace,” Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the biggest Canadian private-sector union, informed reporters after assembly with Canada’s chief negotiator on Sunday.

A NAFTA banner is seen through the fifth spherical of NAFTA talks involving the USA, Mexico and Canada, in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, November 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

“So long as the USA is taking the place they’re, it is a colossal waste of time,” stated Dias, who’s advising the federal government and commonly meets the Canadian group.

‘NO SIGNS OF FLEXIBILITY’

Hanging over the negotiations is the risk that Trump may make good on a risk to scrap NAFTA.

Canada and Mexico object to quite a lot of calls for the U.S. aspect unveiled through the fourth spherical final month, together with for a five-year sundown clause that will pressure frequent renegotiation of the commerce pact, and main modifications to dispute- settlement mechanisms.

“Our inner view as of this morning is that if any progress is to be made, the USA wants to point out some flexibility and a willingness to do a deal,” stated a Canadian supply with data of the talks.

“We’re seeing no indicators of flexibility now,” added the supply, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the state of affairs.

U.S. officers declined to remark.

Mexico is predicted to supply a substitute for the U.S. sundown clause proposal that will provide periodic critiques of the commerce pact however with out an automated expiration.

U.S. negotiating targets that have been up to date on Friday appeared to accommodate the Mexican proposal, saying the revised NAFTA ought to “present a mechanism for making certain that the Events assess the advantages of the Settlement on a periodic foundation.”

Further reporting by David Ljunggren and Sharay Angulo; Modifying by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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