US' NAFTA demands: the moronic and the simply misguided

US' NAFTA demands: the moronic and the simply misguided

Following President Trump's meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and in light of the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined Congressmembers Ann Wagner (R-MO), Joyce Beatty (DOH), and Chris Smith (R-NJ) on a joint letter to United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer raising concerns about the Computer & Communications Industry Association's and Internet Association's comments recommending that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act be added to a revised NAFTA.

USA senators, including Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, pushed for a strong commitment to avoid currency manipulation in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that President Donald Trump withdrew from before lawmakers approved it.

As taught in every freshman economics class, however, a nation's trade balance is nearly entirely governed by macroeconomic policies: To wit, if you don't save enough to pay for what you consume, you will run a trade deficit.

The fifth round will be held in Mexico from November 17-21.

During a joint news conference Tuesday, Canada's foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland said the U.S.is deliberately trying to undermine the NAFTA deal with proposals she called "unconventional" and "troubling", according to Canada's CBC News.

It suggests using NAFTA to strengthen the Mexican economy to boost imports from the US Trade balances, it notes, are "incomplete measures" of a trading relationship.

NAFTA talks' 4th round to close as disagreements persist
Lighthizer said he has see no sign that Mexico and Canada are ready to make the major changes needed to the update pact. All sides remain committed to talks for now: The next round will be in Mexico City starting November 17.

Mr Lighthizer complained that the Mexican and Canadian sides showed no evidence of willingness to make changes that would "rebalance" NAFTA to shrink USA trade deficits. "Countries are reluctant to give up unfair advantage". Officials want to avoid tying the hands of their central banks when setting monetary policy, they said. Freeland countered that barb with her observation that the USA wanted to "turn back the clock on 23 years of predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA".

The U.S. business community says it wants to make investment decisions based on market forces, but wants political risk insurance paid for by the U.S. government, he said.

Freeland didn't dismiss the possibility of success but said she was ready "for the worst possible outcome".

If all parties become entrenched in their positions, Trump has vowed to withdraw from the 23-year-old agreement altogether. "It is important also to remember that to some extent, NAFTA is an investment agreement, and it is unreasonable to expect that the United States will continue to encourage and guarantee USA companies to invest in Mexico and Canada primarily for export to the United States", he said.

The U.S.is also proposing that the new NAFTA expire unless the countries agreed every few years to extend it. Critics say the so-called sunset clause would create too much uncertainty for businesses. Freeland slammed Vice President Mike Pence's "win-win-win" NAFTA strategy, which, she said, would degrade not upgrade the trade deal. While the negotiators said they almost completed discussions on changes NAFTA's competition chapter, as well as made progress on other substantive topics such as customs and trade facilitation, digital trade, good regulatory practices, and certain sectoral annexes, disagreement reportedly heated up over how the United States wants to level the playing field on trade deficits between the countries. Later asked why she was optimistic given the impasses, she said in French: "I don't think I've used the word 'optimist'". "While a new round of negotiations are scheduled, there is a growing possibility that the USA will walk away from the agreement and seek separate bilateral trade deals with Canada and Mexico".

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