NAFTA/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration has honed its strategy for remaking the North American Free Trade Agreement in advance of the next round of talks starting Wednesday [10-11-17]—by proposing a number of specific ways to water down the pact and reduce its influence on companies.
U.S. trade officials have made that theme clear in recent days, prompting a backlash from Mexico and Canada and from business groups in all three countries, casting new uncertainty over the talks as they resume in Washington.
One provision designed with that objective is a ‘sunset’ clause that would force Nafta’s expiration in five years unless all three countries act to renew it, said people briefed on the plan.
Other proposals, these people said, would weaken or eliminate the mechanisms aimed at settling disputes between the three countries and curbing the unilateral threats and sanctions that frequently roiled trade ties in earlier years.
None of the U.S. proposals would alter the specific trade terms that have spurred a quarter-century of commercial integration between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, such as tax-free trade across borders. But the uncertainty they introduce over enforcement and duration would likely make them less appealing to companies, business groups say.”
-Jacob M. Schlesinger, “Trump Sets Nafta Goals: Dilute Pact’s Force, Loosen Regional Bonds,” The Wall Street Journal online, Oct. 11, 2017 06:00am