Lighthizer Weary on "Headway" as NAFTA Talks Creep Forward

November 28, 2017 01:18 PM

The fifth round of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ended last week in Mexico City, and there’s still a plethora of questions on how the trilateral agreement will change.

Representatives from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico shared a joint statement, optimistic about finishing the negotiations “as soon as possible.”

Following this announcement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he is “concerned about the lack of headway” despite the progress that’s been made to modernize the two-decades old agreement.

He said so far, there’s been no evidence that either Canada or Mexico are willing to engage on issues to lead to a rebalanced agreement.

“Absent rebalancing, we will not reach a satisfactory result,” said Lighthizer.

Farm groups, like the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) have expressed concern about how withdrawing from NAFTA is already impacting trade.

“Our competitors are starting to increase their sales,” said Tom Sleight, president of the USGC. “The U.S. is no longer seen as a reliable supplier, which is really alarming news for us in terms of the investment we’ve put into making our economies and our businesses intertwine over 35 years.”

The sixth round of the NAFTA 2.0 talks will take place in Montreal in late January.

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