Canada and Mexico on Monday pushed back against President Donald Trump’s suggestion that steel and aluminum tariffs could be waived if they signed a new and“fair” NAFTA deal, setting the stage for a tense end to the latest talks to update the trade pact.
The two U.S. trading partners have threatened retaliation unless they are exempted from the planned tariffs, which have rattled financial markets. Both Canada and Mexico send more than 75 percent of their goods exports to the United States.
“Mexico shouldn’t be included in steel & aluminum tariffs. It’s the wrong way to incentivize the creation of a new & modern NAFTA,” Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Twitter.
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, speaking north of Toronto, said Ottawa is now negotiating NAFTA with a partner that has“changed the terms of the discussion,” referring to the United States.
Negotiators from the three countries are scheduled to meet later on Monday in Mexico City to wrap up the latest round of talks aimed at modernizing the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.