National Newswatch

NAFTA: Deadlock on hard issues as round concludes under cloud of question marks

Nov 22 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — Another round of NAFTA talks wrapped up with all key issues still deadlocked Tuesday as negotiators prepared to leave Mexico City with a plethora of question marks lingering over the trade deal. The negotiators made progress on a variety of technical files, nearly concluding some less-controversial chapters such as digital trade, sanitary measures, customs enforcement and telecommunications. […]

U.S. negotiators squeezed at home, abroad during NAFTA talks

Nov 21 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — The United States negotiating team found itself squeezed at home and abroad during NAFTA talks on Monday, with various actors from Canada, Mexico and within the U.S. pressing it to reconsider demands called unworkable and unworthy of serious bargaining. The Canadian and Mexican governments have refused to produce a counter-proposal at the current round of […]

At NAFTA talks, Canada delivers a lecture on autos, not a counter-offer

Nov 19 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — Canadian negotiators intend to provide a briefing to their American peers on how their auto proposals would devastate their own domestic industry, in an effort to reset one of the most difficult conversations looming over the renegotiation of NAFTA. Multiple sources say that at the current round Canada will not deliver a counter-proposal — but a presentation. They expect Mexico […]

‘There are no fireworks’: The hunt for news in a ho-hum NAFTA round

Nov 18 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — The latest round of NAFTA talks has begun without any substantive negotiating on key sticking points in a low-key meeting contrasting markedly with the previous round filled with bombshell demands and public scoldings. Sources said it was unlikely any major counter-demands would be tabled as negotiating teams began meeting on Saturday in key topic […]

U.S. releases list reflecting tougher NAFTA negotiating positions

Nov 17 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — The United States has published an updated list of NAFTA negotiating objectives to reflect some of its tougher-than-anticipated demands in a reminder of the difficult hoeing ahead as parties seek fertile ground for a deal. The U.S. trade czar's office released the new list on Friday just as the three chief negotiators began meeting […]

12 biggest losers in a NAFTA pullout? States that voted Trump, says U.S. Chamber

Nov 17 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — The dozen American states that would feel the worst impact of NAFTA's cancellation all happened to vote for Donald Trump, according to projections released Friday by the biggest business lobby in the United States. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has stepped up its efforts to save the North American Free Trade Agreement amid threats of an American pullout, and its […]

Canada Mexico ready to engage on U.S. sticking point

Nov 17 2017 — Alexander Panetta — MEXICO CITY — Canada and Mexico are prepared to engage the United States on one of its most contentious demands for NAFTA, in an early indication that proposals currently deemed non-starters could, in theory, be redesigned into something all three countries can live with. It involves a U.S. idea deemed so hideous by the other […]

US lawmakers escalate complaints about Trump handling of NAFTA; 72 write letters

Nov 16 2017 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — American lawmakers have escalated their campaign against the Trump administration's handling of the NAFTA negotiations, slamming White House policies in a series of letters this week. Separate letters have criticized the administration's push for a so-called sunset clause in the agreement; its proposal on auto-parts rules of origin; and its idea of using international agreements as […]

American lawyers gather to ponder Trump’s NAFTA options: Can he cancel it alone?

Nov 12 2017 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — Legal experts huddled together at a recent conference to ponder a question that could go from being a distant hypothetical to one that dominates Canada-U.S.-Mexico relations: can an American president unilaterally cancel a trade deal? The reason it's suddenly relevant, of course, is President Donald Trump's repeated threats to scrap NAFTA, and it came up at a Duke […]

Washington’s No. 1 economic priority is tax cuts, not NAFTA

Nov 10 2017 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — A U.S. lawmaker dropped a remark this week that illustrated how NAFTA is not the No. 1 economic priority in Washington these days, obscured by another paramount prerogative. That issue is tax cuts. As America's neighbours wonder whether the U.S. Congress might take a strong public stand against the cancellation of the three-country, free-trade agreement, a candid […]

On anniversary of Trump election, Dems get something new to celebrate: victory

Nov 8 2017 — Alexander Panetta — ALEXANDRIA, Va. — One year ago, a Democratic hangout across the river from Washington, D.C., cleared out early as dejected partisans suffered one of the most devastating, demoralizing nights in the history of their party. They enjoyed a tasty anniversary at that same barbecue joint. Area Democrats crowded it for a celebration of electoral dominance in […]

Newly reported contacts between Russia and Team Trump: An updated list

Nov 5 2017 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — One after another, details keep emerging of previously undisclosed contacts between Russians and current and former aides to President Donald Trump. The latest arrived in a massive weekend leak of financial papers. There have been a flurry of others over the past week, just as the criminal probe investigating possible collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government announces its […]

Lock them up: How President Trump wades into justice cases

Nov 3 2017 — Alexander Panetta — WASHINGTON — Donald Trump raised eyebrows during the election campaign by calling for the jailing of his opponent. Now he's wading into all sorts of justice matters, opining on roughly five different cases this week about who should be prosecuted, who should be executed, who should be jailed, and how he deserves exoneration. The president's allies have launched a multi-pronged […]