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U.S. talks tough at NAFTA negotiations

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 01:51

The U.S. is demanding sweeping changes to the North America Free Trade Agreement saying it needs a major overhaul. As Kate King reports, it's set the the tone for what's now likely to be tough talks over the next four days.

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'We will win this fight' chanted, Mexican farmers, walking through the capital's streets to the U.S. Embassy. The problem is, the renogotiation of the North American Free Trade agreement, wasn't billed as a fight, more a friendly reworking of a pact. Although it seems someone forgot to pass that on to the United States. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE, ROBERT LIGHTHIZER, SAYING: "The views of the president about NAFTA are well known. I want to be clear that he is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters. We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement." Behind closed doors Trump's negotiators have begun to seek serious concessions from their closest neighbours. The biggest issue is trade deficits. Americans buy more goods and services from Mexico than Mexicans buy from the United States. Somewhere in the tune of 64 billion. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, CHRYSTIA FREELAND, SAYING: "Now, Canada doesn't view trade surpluses or deficits as a primary measure of whether a trading relationship works. Nonetheless, it's probably worth pointing out, today, that our trade with the U.S. is balanced and mutually beneficial." NAFTA means there's almost free trade between the countries The US says that's meant jobs going south to take advantage of lower wages. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MEXICAN ECONOMY MINISTER, ILDEFONSO GUAJARDO, SAYING: "We are open to analysing trade balances between the three North American countries as long as it is under the principle of expanding trade, not under the tenet of suppressing trade." Those protesting say the trade deal has never been tipped in America's favour. Negotiators have another four days to convince the US of that.

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U.S. talks tough at NAFTA negotiations

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 01:51