Canada, Mexico say free trade deal must include US

Both countries reject Trump’s proposal for separate agreements
TORONTO, Canada: Canada and Mexico rejected separate trade deals with the U.S. Wednesday, saying that any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must be a trilateral deal.
At a meeting between Canadian officials and their Mexican counterparts in Mexico City, the two countries also rejected the Trump administration’s calls for a sunset clause, which would see NAFTA subjected to review every five years.
Both countries said such a clause would kill investment.
“Nobody is going to invest a single Canadian dollar, a Mexican peso, a (U.S.) dollar in an industry that does not (have) certainty for the long term,” said Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo at a press conference after the meeting.
Mexican representatives are going to Washington on Thursday to meet and discuss NAFTA with U.S. officials.
But Mexico will remain adamant that NAFTA must be a trilateral agreement with more permanent terms.
“The fact that we are going to Washington to participate in bilateral talks is to reinforce the concept of the trilateralism of this agreement,” Guajardo said at the press conference, also attended by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Freeland met with incoming Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, so the trilateral deal and rejection of the sunset clause – she said Canada was “strongly opposed” to the latter – are in effect endorsed by the new administration that came to power following Mexico’s national election earlier this month.
She called the meeting positive, and the two countries agreed in their position on NAFTA.
“Canada very much believes in NAFTA as a trilateral agreement,” Freeland said. “It has been in place for near a quarter century.”
That has allowed the countries to integrate trading and supply chains that have benefited all three, she said.
All three countries’ officials have said they want to accelerate talks that began in August but have bogged down due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s insistence that America has not benefited enough from the deal and wants a better agreement.–AA

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