Nafta talks to extend to next year amid clashes

Spotlight: NAFTA parties to extend trade talks into Q1 2018 with

In addition to working on alternatives should NAFTA fail, Mexico is working to strengthen and diversify commercial markets involving the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and modernized trade agreements with the European Union.

US 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.

The Congressional Research Service says in a report issued last week that there is no clear path for Trump to reduce the US trade deficit with Mexico, one of his major complaints and an overarching priority for revamping a pact he has repeatedly threatened to tear up. Trump has blamed what he called poorly negotiated agreements for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs that hurt the USA economy.

But the apparent deadlock in the talks underscored how a keystone of regional trade - US trade with Mexico has tripled since 1993 to $1.2 trillion - was now in jeopardy.

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

Lighthizer also said he was "surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change" from Canada and Mexico regarding reducing US trade deficits, a top priority for the Trump administration.

"We've also seen a series of unconventional proposals in critical areas of the negotiations that make our work much more challenging", Freeland told a joint press conference in Washington. Portman and other lawmakers said that provision, which wasn't part of the main TPP text, didn't go far enough. That situation, he said, has resulted in the large US trade deficit with Mexico. Lighthizer also continued to hammer Canada and Mexico on manufacturing policies that depend on exports to the United States. The U.S. Trade Representative's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "NAFTA has resulted in a huge trade deficit for the United States and has cost us tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs", said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in prepared remarks at the conclusion of the fourth round of NAFTA talks.

"This is troubling." Freeland was also critical of ongoing USA calls for national content rules, which she said would harm the already well-established, interconnected supply chains of North America's shippers.

Lighthizer said he wants to come up with an agreement that both business and labor would support, and said he believes that is possible.

"The United States shares strong economic ties with Mexico and Canada". US grain and meat producers have also said they fear that the produce seasonality proposal could endanger USA exports to Mexico, and the United Fresh Produce Association has said it does not support the seasonality proposal even though its Florida members and some others want the situation addressed.

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