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Mexico and Canada slam United States as NAFTA talks are pushed into 2018

Mexico and Canada slam United States as NAFTA talks are pushed into 2018

Discussions remained tense as the US government insists on several big changes to the 23-year-old deal that could hurt Canada and Mexico.

"Frankly, I am surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change from our negotiating partners on both fronts", he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

This year's NAFTA re-negotiations stem from U.S. President Donald Trump's insistence that the agreement be remodeled lest the U.S. leave the deal entirely.

"As hard as this has been, we have seen no indication that our partners are willing to make any changes that will result in a rebalancing and a reduction in these huge trade deficits", he said.

The U.S. proposal would also require that cars sold into the United States be 50 percent manufactured here in order to qualify for special NAFTA status.

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Among the most contentious, he and other analysts said, is a proposal that would allow NAFTA to expire after five years unless all three countries agree to renew it.

The fifth round of talks is scheduled for November 17-21 in Mexico City with discussions now expected to stretch into 2018, extending beyond the aim for year's end. His administration believes that its proposals will protect US businesses, mainly manufacturing, and will decrease the USA trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. Since it was implemented, Mexico's unemployment has risen and the deal put about two million small-scale Mexican farmers out of business, forcing many of them to migrate to the United States looking for work.

Over the previous year, Mexico has aggressively pursued new or updated trade deals with other countries, seeking new markets for its exports and new partners for imports.

"This is why Canada is so appreciative of Mexico's support for a gender chapter in the modernization of NAFTA. this is a progressive step forward that we can't afford not to take".

Mexican economist and financial analyst Luis Rubio said the greatest danger to Mexico if NAFTA is scrapped is loss of confidence in the nation as a place for investment.

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