The U.S. and Mexico are nearing an agreement on the trade of automobiles as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation effort. Politico reports the U.S. and Mexico are in the “final stages” of reaching a deal on the automotive rules of origin section of NAFTA, key to completing the renegotiation. A team of negotiators is in Washington, D.C. this week to continue the talks. However, other issues within the negotiations, including a sunset provision and dispute settlement, along with dairy trade, remain unsettled.
President Trump has leaned towards striking a deal with Mexico first, before moving on to hashing out details with Canada. However, officials from Canada and Mexico agree that any final deal would be trilateral between the three nations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that finishing the talks with Mexico could put pressure on Canada to reach an agreement. Scrapping Canada’s dairy supply management system, a goal for the U.S. as part of the negotiations, remains “unacceptable,” according to trade officials from Canada.
In separate trade news, a letter from the Freedom Partners is urging the President to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Freedom Partners started in 2011 to promote the benefits of free markets and a free society. The group launched an advertising campaign this week against President Trump’s trade policy and ongoing trade war with China, that is expected to cost farmers and ranchers $11 billion.
In a corresponding letter, the group said “we must join them,” referring to nations that are “not waiting for us,” and signing trade deals to eliminate tariffs. The organization calls the new TPP agreement one that includes better standards for trade and significantly lowered tariffs. Once in full effect, the group alleges that the agreement will put American businesses at a distinct competitive disadvantage and will increase trade losses to other countries.