The purpose of this report is to keep you informed, regarding the current status of the NAFTA’s negotiations.

Considering that there are different sources of information with respect to the negotiations, including official declarations, TV news, blogs, journalistic news, opinions published through Tweeter, among others, that often times are published with headings that not necessarily reflect the actual content or news that may show a particular position (and something shaded), we have based our report directly from declarations made by the representatives of each country who are leading the negotiations, and the heads of State.

Recent declarations

United States of America (EE.UU.)

Robert Lighthizer

On August 31, 2018, The United States Trade Representative (USTR), Robert Lighthizer, stated that,

“Today the President notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico — and Canada, if it is willing — 90 days from now. The agreement is the most advanced and high-standard trade agreement in the world”

In connection with the above, President Donald Trump, in his last declarations, has expressed his interest to sign a bilateral agreement between Mexico and EE.UU., arguing that there is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA:

“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don´t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere w/these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off…”.

On September 7, 2018, President Donald Trump, said that he may impose import duties to cars imported from Canada, as a strategy for negotiation.

Mexico

Ildefonso Guajardo

On September 12, 2018, in the IIF Mexico Economic Forum, the Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo declared that he expects in the next few days a solution between Canada and the EE.UU.:

“I would expect that in the next days or up to the next week there will be a solution between Canada and EE.UU.”

Also, Ildefonso Guajardo stated that Mexico should be prepared to sign a bilateral agreement, if necessary:

“We are very interested to be joined by Canada in this process, NAFTA is a trilateral agreement and such quality is a great asset. If we see that finally the scenario is not what we expect, that there is no deal, Mexico should take the following step and advance in the context of a bilateral agreement, if necessary”.

He also added that, Kenneth Smith, Chief of Technical Negotiation, traveled on September 12, 2018, to Washington, D.C., to continue working in the preparation of NAFTA’s texts.

Canada

Chrystia Freeland

Chrystia Freeland, Canada´s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that,

“With good will and flexibility on all sides, a win-win-win outcome is achievable. Canada, of course, will only sign a deal which is good for Canada.”

As response to the declaration made by the President Donald Trump, relating to the imposition of import duties to cars imported from Canada, Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau said that,

“it would be devastating, obviously, to the Canadian auto industry, but it would also be devastating to the American auto industry,”

Current status

Based on the declarations, it can be concluded that, the current status of the negotiations is the following:

  • The intention of President Donald Trump, is to sign a bilateral agreement with Mexico.
  • Mexico represented by the Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, has accepted the possibility to sign a bilateral agreement with EE.UU., if necessary.
  • Chrystia Freeland has been positive to achieve a trilateral agreement.
  • EE.UU. may impose import duties to cars imported from Canada, as strategy for negotiation.
  • An agreement has not been achieved.

We suggest being aware and informed, regarding declarations made on the negotiations, because the current status may change unexpectedly.

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