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Trump Threatens Endless NAFTA Talks After Walk-Back on Autos

Posted April 12, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Eric Martin, Josh Wingrove & Justin Sink – Bloomberg)

Donald Trump says he’s willing to “renegotiate forever” on Nafta, a threat that comes as his trade office again softens its marquee demand for changes to the auto sector.

The president, speaking Thursday at the White House, said renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico is progressing well but there isn’t a timeline for reaching a deal -- in part because the uncertainty of talks is already discouraging investment outside the U.S. “As long as we have this negotiation going, nobody’s going to build billion-dollar plants in Mexico,” Trump said.

Despite his bluster, the U.S. has softened its negotiating position on the crucial issue of automotive content. American negotiators are now proposing that as much as 75 percent of car components be sourced from the three countries to quality for tariff exemptions under NAFTA, down from its initial proposal of as much as 85 percent, according to three people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. The development was first reported by Inside U.S. Trade. Click here to read more.

Related: Trump Says He’s In No Hurry to Finish NAFTA; That’s Good Because It May Take a While (Washington Post)