Threats to End NAFTA Expected to Make Negotiators' Jobs More Difficult

CANADA - According to Bruce Cochrane, the acting Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says his confidence that the renegotiation of NAFTA will move forward as quickly as desired has slipped.
calendar icon 11 September 2017
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The second round of discussions involving Canada, the United States and Mexico, aimed at modernising the North American Free Trade Agreement, concluded last week in Mexico City setting the stage for round three next month in Ottawa.

Martin Rice, the acting Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, suggests ongoing threats by US President Donald Trump to end the negotiation and withdraw the United States from the deal, is likely to make the job of the negotiators more difficult.

Martin Rice-Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance

It's a complication and I really don't see where it serves even the US interests to be suggesting those kinds of possibilities.

Really one should leave the negotiators to work on a negotiation, to come up with a result which then you judge whether or not it's satisfactory or not.

Those kinds of threats make it actually more difficult, not easier, make it difficult for Canada and Mexico to entertain concessions that are doubtful.

Whether it's concessions or otherwise it just makes it more difficult to negotiate an agreement that is going to be more challenging or less hopeful of being approved, being implemented by all three countries.

Actually I think it might lessen the ambition and lessen the potential for a successful outcome.

Mr Rice says he feels less confident following round two than he was at the end of round one that a successful agreement can be reached within the time lines desired by the United States and Mexico.

He acknowledges everyone will be working hard to reach an agreement before Christmas that all three countries can move forward but, given the political climate, there is an increasing level of uncertainty.

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