2nd Round of NAFTA Talks Opens in Mexico City - NBC Bay Area
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

2nd Round of NAFTA Talks Opens in Mexico City

Among other things, Washington wants local-content rules tightened to avoid imports largely made in third countries from being considered "made in North America" just because they were assembled in Mexico

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7's Katia Lopez-Hodoyan reports on the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). (Published Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017)

    A second round of talks on re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement began Friday with officials expressing optimism despite President Donald Trump's suggestions he could withdraw the United States from the 23-year-old trade pact.

    Delegations from the United States, Mexico and Canada gathered at a Mexico City hotel for discussions that the country's Economy Department said would focus on issues such as rules-of-origin, electronic commerce, the environment and anti-corruption measures.

    "There are conditions to negotiate, despite some statements," said Gerardo Gutierrez Candiani, head of Mexico's special economic zones agency.

    On Wednesday, Trump said: "We've got to change this deal, and hopefully we can renegotiate it, but if we can't we'll terminate it and we'll start all over again with a real deal."

    Protesters Removed From Senate Health Care Bill Hearing

    [NATL] Health Care Bill Protesters Forcibly Removed From Senate Finance Committee Room

    Protesters chanting "No cuts for Medicaid, save our liberty!" were forcibly removed from the Senate Finance Committee room Monday as lawmakers attempted to convene a hearing into the Republican Graham Cassidy health care bill.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

    Among other things, Washington wants local-content rules tightened to avoid imports largely made in third countries from being considered "made in North America" just because they were assembled in Mexico.

    Gutierrez Candiani said other issues on the table include labor standards and dispute resolution mechanisms. The United States also opposes the current system of private arbitration panels.

    Gutierrez Candiani acknowledged that "they are not agile enough, and mechanisms have to be sought that are more agile, more reliable."

    The current agreement allows binational panels of private experts to decide differences, making it harder for one nation to unilaterally impose tariffs on another.

    The United States wants to eliminate those panels, but Canada and Mexico fear that would allow it to throw its greater weight around and impose tariffs on imports that allegedly harm local producers or are being "dumped," or sold below their real price.

    Talks of more such tariffs drew concern from a newly formed alliance of U.S. and Canadian fruit and vegetable companies.

    North Korean Minister: Trump Tweet Declared War

    [NATL] North Korean Foreign Minister: 'The United States Declared War'

    North Korea's top diplomat says President Donald Trump's tweet that leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer" amounted to a declaration of war against his country.

    Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters Monday that what he called Trump's "declaration of war" gives North Korea "every right" under the U.N. Charter to take countermeasures, "including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers even they're not yet inside the airspace border of our country."

    Ri Yong also said that "all options will be on the operations table" for the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

    Ri referred to Trump's tweet Saturday that said: "Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!"

    (Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

    In a letter to the U.S. government Wednesday, the Produce Coalition for NAFTA said "the result will be more tariffs on fruits and vegetables ... what is more, this provision will be used against U.S. growers."

    U.S. companies now frequently grow produce in Mexico in the winter or contract it from Mexican companies.

    Mexico's Economy Department said the five days of talks will be conducted in 25 working groups with an expected wrap-up date of Tuesday. The first round of talks took place in Washington in mid-August, and several more rounds are expected.