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NAFTA Ministers Fail to Finalize Agreement as Crucial Deadline Looms

Friday, May 11, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

Trade ministers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico last week failed to reach a deal on a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ahead of a May 17 deadline imposed by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan said he would need to be notified about a new NAFTA by May 17 to allow Congress to vote on the deal before new members are sworn in after the 2018 midterm elections later this year. Officials from the three countries are in Washington this week to continue negotiations. Mexico has not agreed to a U.S. proposal to boost North American content for autos made in the NAFTA region - a major point of contention hindering a final agreement. Several other major issues are still unresolved, including U.S. demands for a sunset clause that would allow NAFTA to expire if it is not renegotiated every five years and elimination of settlement panels for trade disputes.

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