New Roadblocks Thrown Up in NAFTA Negotiations

Trump pushing for new mandates for Mexico.

by on Apr.24, 2018

NAFTA talks are ongoing and negotiators are expressing optimism about completing a new deal.

Efforts to reach an agreement on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement appear to have hit another speed bump.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he may ask Mexico to halt the flow of undocumented migrants from Central America into the U.S. as a condition for a renegotiated trade deal.

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“Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S. We may make this a new condition of our new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s comment came more than a week after the U.S. leader said talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada were “coming along great,” although he said there was no deadline for a new deal to be completed.

(Trump drags heels as NAFTA negotiations continue. Click Here for the story.)

President Donald Trump wants Mexico to take a more active role in preventing illegal immigrants coming to the U.S.

“It could be two weeks, it could be three months, it could be five months, I don’t care,” he said.

Trump’s threats to exit NAFTA continued to rattle global automakers that have invested billions of dollars in new plants in Mexico during the past decade. The threats to pull out of NAFTA have also upset Texans and midwestern farmers, who prefer the status quo to the uncertain changes pushed by the Trump administration.

However, the attacks on NAFTA in particular – and free trade generally – have been a key part of Trump’s political brand even though they have rattled the President’s own Republican party, which has been deeply committed to idea of free trade.

(Click Here for more about NAFTA talks likely to resume in May.)

After the latest round of talks in Mexico City, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said recently the odds of reaching a deal by early May were as high as 80%, while Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has also indicated there had been progress in the talks.

Key issues, such as new rules of origin for carmakers, remain unresolved and the Mexican Presidential election, which could dramatically shift the tenor of the talks are set for July 1.

(To see more about Trump reversing his stance on the Trans Pacific Partnership, Click Here.)

Demands for a crackdown on migrants in Mexico, if it is pressed by the administration, is only likely to complicate the talks.

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