March 24, 2018

Donald Trump: Mexico Can Pay for the Wall 'Indirectly Through NAFTA'

13 January 2018, 05:11 | Rufus Hill

Trump: We Can Use NAFTA to Pay for Border Wall

TOP NEWS: Canada Preparing For US To Pull Out Of NAFTA Trade Deal

Donald Trump's top dealmakers are said to be complaining that Canada is not negotiating and that, in the event of a collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a bilateral deal with Mexico might be easier than one with Canada because it is willing to be flexible on US content requirements. This would leave what experts call a zombie NAFTA. When he landed, he was surprised to hear the urgent tone of news reporting suggesting a pullout was imminent.

It also would give China the chance to fill a void left by the United States in providing leadership in global trade, they said.

Republicans have also made clear they intend to campaign on economic growth and their tax bill leading up to midterm elections this November, and several GOP lawmakers told TWS they believe pulling out of NAFTA would undermine that campaign strategy. The sixth round of talks is scheduled to start January 23 in Montreal.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published yesterday that Mexico could pay for the wall, which he hopes will stem illegal immigration, "indirectly" through changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, and colleague Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the center, expressed pessimism that NAFTA could be saved.

While a NAFTA termination letter would start the six-month exit clock ticking, the United States would not be legally bound to quit NAFTA once it expires. "The Government of Saskatchewan supports the federal government conducting a focused and determined effort to conclude a new NAFTA agreement", Wall said in a statement.

"The president is getting enormous pressure from within the United States".

A top unnamed government official from Canada told Reuters: "The government is increasingly sure about is now planning for Trump to announce a withdrawal".

In fact, Wood said, he knows of one company that has made a decision to build a new factory in Europe rather than North America because of the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA.

That means Mexico will essentially have paid for the wall, he said.

In the interim, Trump has requested requested approximately $18 billion for the wall.

"I'm more concerned about NAFTA surviving in its current form than NAFTA blowing up", Dias said. Then, they spiked above 80 per cent as White House officials denied that President Donald Trump's position on the matter had changed - only to slide back to 62 per cent. However she noted the US position includes some "extreme" demands that are unacceptable to Canada. The provision has been sparsely used, in part, because trucking companies prefer to keep operations separate.

"It's time to broach the toughest issues in Montreal", said Castanon.

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