NAFTA Round Seven Ends in Mexico City With Negligible Progress – USTR Lighthizer Remarks (Transcript)…

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer, love ya’ but enough already.  After eight months, and seven rounds of negotiations, only six trade chapter agreements -out of 30- have been closed.  It’s an election year in Mexico (July), Canada and the U.S. (November).

Time to cut bait; call the baby ugly; end the nonsense; stop the backslapping; put everyone out of their diplomatic misery, and finally make a formal NAFTA exit announcement in Washington DC.

Today, round #7 ends in Mexico City with no progress. Surprise fail.   Here’s the trilateral presser (sorry, poor audio):

Other than the progressive Canadian ‘princess rainbow-sparkles’ stomping her feet and promising targeted political trade retaliation for U.S. Steel and Aluminum tariffs, there’s nothing newsworthy within the entire public conference.   Below is a transcript of Ambassador Lighthizer’s full remarks as delivered.

Ambassador Lighthizer: Good Afternoon.

Let me begin by commending Secretary Guajardo for a terrific job hosting this seventh round of negotiations here in Mexico City. It is a privilege to return to this great city.  Not long after I was last here, Mexico was struck by devastating earthquakes.  Your nation’s rapid recovery from that tragedy shows the great strength of the Mexican people.  You deserve our praise for that and our continued prayers and support.

I would like to thank both of you — Secretary Guajardo and Minister Freeland — for your hard work and for the hard work of your able staffs.  We have to keep in mind that there were several hundred people working very long hours for several days during the course of this process.  We are dealing with a large number of difficult issues, very technical issues, and I appreciate the efforts made by all negotiators.

In spite of this hard work, we have not made the progress that many had hoped in this round.  We have closed out only three additional chapters: Good Regulatory Practices, Administration and Publication, and Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures.  We have also completed work on sectoral annexes related to chemicals and proprietary food formulas.  And we are making substantial progress on Telecommunications and Technical Barriers to Trade.  We have also agreed to include a chapter on energy.

These chapters are important and provide further evidence that all three countries want to upgrade and modernize NAFTA.  But to complete NAFTA 2.0, we will need agreement on roughly 30 chapters.  So far, after seven months we have completed just six.  Now granted, these things tend to converge more towards the end of a negotiation.

As I have said since August, we have two major goals in these negotiations.  First, we want to update NAFTA to address modern trade issues.  All three countries agree that NAFTA is outdated, and I believe we should be able to reach agreement on new issues like digital trade, labor, and environment, intellectual property, and much more.  We urge all parties to move more quickly on these issues.

Second, we believe that NAFTA should be rebalanced.  This has been a longstanding U.S. concern about the treatment of our workers and businesses.  From our point of view, among other things, changing the agreement so that it no longer encourages outsourcing, developing rules of origin that will fairly treat our manufacturing sector and workers, and reshaping the rules of government procurement are very important.  We also need to make more progress on these points to conclude a new NAFTA.  We continue to stress the need to act quickly.

Now our time is running very short.  On July 1, as everyone here knows, Mexico will choose a new president.  That campaign as I understand it begins in earnest just next month.  But Mexico is not the only NAFTA country in the midst of elections.  Both Ontario and Quebec have elections scheduled later this year.  Finally, the United States has mid-term elections coming up in November.  All of this complicates our work.  I fear that the longer we proceed, the more political headwinds we will feel.

I also note that in all three countries, reaching an agreement at the negotiating table is only part of the process.  In the United States, after an agreement in principle is concluded, our laws require public disclosure of text, further consultations, and numerous reports before it can be considered by Congress.  Thus, in the U.S., we must resolve our outstanding issues soon to maintain the possibility of having this measure be considered by the current Congress.

As President Trump has said, we hope for a successful completion of these talks, and we would prefer a three-way, tripartite agreement.  If that proves impossible, we are prepared to move on a bilateral basis, if agreement can be made.

We have tried to be clear and very specific about what we hope to see in a new NAFTA.  We are prepared to work continuously to achieve a breakthrough.  I understand that these talks are not easy for anyone.  Each of us has our own political concerns.  But we are at the point where we have very important decisions to be made.  If the political will is there, I am certain that we have a path to a rapid and successful conclusion.

Thank you.

[Transcript Link]

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This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Canada, media bias, Mexico, NAFTA, President Trump, Professional Idiots, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to NAFTA Round Seven Ends in Mexico City With Negligible Progress – USTR Lighthizer Remarks (Transcript)…

  1. Ziiggii says:

    Adios Amigos!

    Liked by 18 people

    • mike says:

      Chicom guy is probably frantic to find a last minute way to move his (multi?)billion $ aluminum dumps across our border. Hope he gets a good haircut.

      Liked by 9 people

    • fleporeblog says:

      You are absolutely right! Our President has already made up his mind. Now it is just a matter of when. In my mind, get the tariffs implemented on Thursday. They will be across the board on every nation. NO exemptions. 25% steel and 10% aluminum. Allow for the GOPe, Globalist, CoC and MSM to cry that Armageddon is truly upon us.

      During that week, many of these companies will expand and some new companies will rise out of the ashes they were tossed into by the previous 4 administrations.

      Than drop the damn hammer 🔨 on NAFTA! Our President was absolutely strategic with those two tweets. He will piggyback on them on why the time has come to cut us from NAFTA. They will run to find a judge that will put an injunction on it. In the meantime, begin bilateral negotiations with Canada 🇨🇦. Once the Mexicans decide You their next President will be, begin negotiations with them.

      While all of this is happening, we will be working our way through the courts so that eventually the SC will rule in our favor. At the same time, cut South Korea 🇰🇷 from that BS agreement signed five years ago. Also drop the hammer on China 🇨🇳 BIGLY for the stealing of our Intellectual Property. Impose tariffs across the board on all their trinkets.

      As China 🇨🇳 goes nuts 🥜, get ready to implement RECIPROCAL TARIFFS on every damn country. As they run to the WTO, our President will announce we are leaving the WTO. By this point 2018 will be finished and we will be a step closer to MAGA!

      Liked by 7 people

      • stephenreed says:

        Union rank and file are loving our greatest president.

        Trump will restore the traditional allegiance of the working class to the Republican Party, historical supporter of high tariffs that made America great the first time.

        Like

    • filia.aurea says:

      Well said.

      Like

  2. emet says:

    Negligible progress? The closer we get to the exit door, the more progress we make

    Liked by 23 people

  3. Barbara Ledeen says:

    She knows a lot about the chinese and has been in a serious cyber war with them. From: The Last RefugeSent: Monday, March 5, 2018 8:18 PMTo: barbaraledeen@gmail.comReply To: The Last RefugeSubject: [New post] NAFTA Round Seven Ends in Mexico City With Negligible Progress – USTR Lighthizer Remarks (Transcript)…

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    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com

    sundance posted: “Dear Ambassador Lighthizer, love ya’ but enough already.  After eight months, and seven rounds of negotiations, only six trade chapter agreements -out of 30- have been closed.  It’s an election year in Mexico (July), Canada and the U.S. (November).

    Tim”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. A2 says:

    Sounds like a long good-bye. Now we can pull those bi-lats from the bottom drawer and get busy.

    Liked by 11 people

  5. AndrewJackson says:

    Do it President Trump. Call it off and start from scratch.

    Liked by 8 people

    • until Mexico builds a fence along the Rio Grande
      that their borders jumpers
      can’t breech I SAY cut them OFF
      stop ALL TRADE WITH MEXICO

      Liked by 1 person

      • stephenreed says:

        Our president: Hey Mexico, you can pay $60 billion for the wall right now and get a two year hiatus on NAFTA termination. You come out ahead – do the math.

        Liked by 3 people

        • filia.aurea says:

          Interesting thought, but Mexico doesn’t have the money and we don’t have the time. We can’t allow tariff loopholes either.

          Like

          • All American Snowflake says:

            Mexico has plenty of money. They have been stealing it from the USA. Living like millionaires on American welfare and stealing American jobs to boot.

            Like

  6. Summer says:

    So, what’s the “path to a rapid and successful conclusion?” Round 8? Or “sorry, fellas, with the heavy heart we have to terminate NAFTA?”

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Sunshine says:

    PLEASE, do not give me hope. This is not an election year in Canada. Only in mid-2019. Canadians have another 18 catastrophic months with the Sock-Boy and his mediocre team.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. One door needs to close so another door can open. What a mess.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. A2 says:

    I give Lighthizer and his team commiserations for having to deal with economic illiterates. It was as if it was a remedial class, and the pupils are recalcitrant and unwilling to learn. Sometimes you just need to fail the class and wish them luck.

    Liked by 9 people

    • stephenreed says:

      Perhaps the Democrats got a hold of the education system 150 years ago and convinced public school children that tariffs were bad and that no tariffs was progressive. The tariff-loving Republican Party came to adopt the position of the Democrats over several generations.

      Like

  10. VegasGuy says:

    “Let me begin by commending Secretary Guajardo for a terrific job hosting this seventh round of negotiations here in Mexico City……”

    Enough, yes…?

    I’m with SD +& others here….Throw the Baby out with the bath water….Mexico & Canada have zero intentions of making equal& fair trade agreements with the US.

    Liked by 11 people

    • NoJuan Importante says:

      Why would they? Why would China? When you have the upper hand, you drag things out as long as you can. My question is, what authority does the President have to terminate it? Full authority? If so, get on with it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • dayallaxeded says:

      Mexico City has great food. I’m sure that’s what he was talking about and why they waited until after this session to terminate.

      I’m hoping for a sound bi-lat with MX that enforces border security, cooperation in exterminating cartels and criminal gangs and sets the stage for MX to be great for once. Best way, after the wall, to control immigration is to get MX working, so people who want to work can stay there.

      CA will come along as soon as they see how great it is, sitting at the adults’ table of sovereign nations, instead of consigned to crumbs on the floor by globalists.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mike says:

        hmmmm. CA is seriously f’d up, alternate reality in the most literal senses.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Carrie2 says:

        dayallaxeded, lived in Mexico for many years but good food mostly in only a few cities like Mexico City, but goes down hill unless you want to eat monkey. I didn’t, thank you. But definitely better Mexican food there vs. the phony so-called mexican restaurants in the USA! Yuck! I cook the real stuff, thank you. Hopefully, there might be a meeting of the minds but considering that the PRI and other stupid parties always run, not much chance because they don’t want to lose money while their citizens are murdered by the cartels and druggers. Mexicans are known for a lot of things, but not for constructing real equipment as I worked in a company and everything had to be eyeballed and tested because they are not imprinted with the mechanical skills needed. In a car manufacturing company, most is done by important machinery so a car can actually be built. I found myself fixing most anything because I was doing a better job.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Monadnock says:

        Your post got me thinking: Does the path to fixing California run through Mexico?

        Like

        • Jedi9 says:

          Probably and is food for thought in the bigger picture! Get Mexico fixed so that it becomes a stable country and on a path to prosperity where jobs come pouring in, is a covert strategy for self deportation!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Esperanza says:

          Yes. The Mexican elites are currently using CA, but also TX and FL as dumping grounds for a) their bad elements and b) their good people. They like losing their good people because that makes those that remain easier to control. Mexico is on a path to oblivion. In fact the end of Nafta might be the only thing which saves it. It’s being taken over by China. Literally, they’ve taken over a whole chunk of coast.

          Liked by 1 person

          • dayallaxeded says:

            “B” has been one of my main points against the massive illegal immigration from MX and Central and South America for a long time–when the “salt of the earth,” motivated, skilled workers (mostly men in a heavily patriarchal culture) leave, it’s a catastrophe for the “home” culture. Everyone who’s left becomes a target for cartels and criminal gangs–either as a recruit or as a victim (which means just about everyone is a victim one way or the other). More proof that progzis have no humanity–they just want to destabilize nations and societies in service of globalist power elites. The astro-turfers have no idea, like the sheep following the Judas goat.

            Like

    • WSB says:

      Maybe they all had a nice lunch.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Time for the TRADE TWO-STEP:
    1. Impose the Steel and Aluminum Tariffs… on EVERYONE.
    2. Cancel NAFTA.
    3. Schedule Bilateral Trade Deal negotiations… how long do you want to feel those Tariffs?

    Gotta make the world believers:
    If we do this to NEIGHBORING Allies who don’t negotiate, guess what we’ll do to YOU.

    Liked by 9 people

    • OK, yes, that was the Three Step … couldn’t resist giving them the heads-up that it takes MONTHS to cut a deal and delaying getting in line could cost BILLIONS.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Jim Rogers says:

        Ah ha! Ross Perot wasn’t the only one who heard that “ giant sucking sound” when Slick Willie was selling our national interests down the NAFTA rabbit-hole – DJT heard it, too! And now he’s going to fix it!!! Winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing!!!

        Liked by 5 people

        • Orygun says:

          A lot of us knew NAFTA was a bad idea just like passing Hate crime laws is the first step to censorship. They get their foot in the door and then they knock the building down.

          Like

    • Carrie2 says:

      BlackKnightRides, as I have mentioned before, many of us older bloggers here grew up in fair trade and the world all wanted to buy Made in USA products because of quality, and then along came the rotters to change that. What Trump is saying/doing is what we used to have so lump it Ryan, you who has never liked Trump but having to appear to do what he wants. You are a RINO and need to be replaced as Speaker and hopefully not ever elected again in your home state. I think those in Congress against Trump on fair trade are afraid of losing multi-bucks and that is not liked. However, they could represent us instead, now couldn’t they? Dream on!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Esperanza says:

      Actually the steel tariffs mean nothing. They don’t make steel. What money does Mexico make from steel? Nothing as far as I can see. How bout à bi lat Where Mexico can export Mexican made steel? US companies could have foundries in Mexico too.

      Question, where does iron ore come from? Isn’t it better for iron ore producers to deal with the US? Who’d ya rather? The US or China?

      Like

  12. KBR says:

    Will ending NAFTA + steel&aluminum tarriffs+Italy elections+Britain’s creeping Brexit result in Mexico, Canada, Italy and Britain competing for an alpha position in the bliateral trade deal lineup?

    Not off topic to mention because one thing ties in with another and everything ties in with money and trade.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m thinking it does create competition for the alpha position to be FIRST-IN PARTNER.

      Each Bilateral Dealmaking cycle with a new Partner will develop a bigger American edge:
      ** Established “precedents” and “templates” to jump-start negotiations and cut cycle time.
      • Refined “provisions” that yet more ERASE CHEATING OPTIONS to “get over”.
      • Improved “measurement” capabilities to track “level of RECIPROCITY”
      • Enhanced “monitoring” organization and technology to identify “VIOLATIONS”
      • Expanded “skills and tactics” for overcoming objections
      • Multiplied “counters” for closing gaps and taking the lumps out

      Liked by 6 people

    • Carrie2 says:

      Heard today that two NEW parties have formed in Italy ready to pitch out the very old and robbery to what truly will benefit Italy, its workers, and getting ride of hundreds of thousands of migrants. I say good for you and do it! Another country sick and tired of the leeching migrants.

      Liked by 8 people

  13. dayallaxeded says:

    Just now looking at the pic of the negotiators and while I usually try to stay away from commenting on people’s looks, CA’s princess sparkles is some kinda sway-backed. If she were a horse, she’d be put out to pasture. They’re not sending their best!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. b4im2old says:

    And don’t forget, didn’t Justin sign Canada onto the TPP a couple weeks ago, which basically puts all those partners in line to screw us like China has been doing through their backdoor of NAFTA all these years?

    Time to walk away… and begin the bilateral trade deals IMO, being very cautious with any/all countries that are participating in the TPP so they don’t try to get their nose under our tent, following China’s example.

    Thankfully, PDJT has the best negotiators for We the People!

    Liked by 4 people

    • WSB says:

      I love how the media completely ignores this writing on the wall.

      Or maybe they just do not have the smarts to understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donna in Oregon says:

        The MSM is doing it’s Corporatist bidding.

        My guess is the floating casino of Wall Street is getting ready to short the markets and steal the gains.

        The difference for this Wall Street/Mega Bankster/Conglomerate cartel is that President Trump will have them arrested and perp walked. The second the big shots move on us, President Trump will move on them.

        Then we will have to have all those Teddy Roosevelt Trust Busting court cases that have been needed since the 2008 meltdown.

        President Trump has said many times that the financial health of the American economy is also part of National Security.

        Liked by 3 people

      • filia.aurea says:

        The morons on TV are script readers, not writers. (Maybe 2 or 3 exceptions)

        Liked by 1 person

  15. G. Combs says:

    Snicker…
    I saw the headline and was thinking Shoot the poor thing alright already! It’s almost dead so just kill it and save us the agony.

    However Sundance beat me to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Mike13 says:

    So before midterms or after? Is it politically advantageous to end NAFTA now? That would kick Wall Street in the butt, in favor of Main Street – in time market would recover.

    What legal authority does Trump hace to end NAFTA?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jedi9 says:

      He has full authority and does not need congressional approval! My Guess is that there will be legal challenges to exiting NAFTA!

      However if Goldman Sachs has publicly stated that NAFTA will be abolished, clearly they are sending a signal out to the markets.

      The timing of this announcement for leaving NAFTA is key for Trump and his admin. How, when, and why will be the spin masters favourite thesis!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. MVW says:

    Trump gave the reality deniers the last straw of hope with today’s tweet, ‘good NAFTA deal or steel and aluminum tariffs’. Leftists given a choice between rainbow unicorns and reality will always go with rainbow unicorns and virtue signal. In this case, stock market big money leftists pumped the market as if Trump’s tweet indicated a cave in.

    I, myself, seem to be stuck in the Twilight Zone waiting for NAFTA plug pull, Mueller jumping off an interstate overpass, and Sessions un-recusing himself.

    Will reality winner please make yourself known?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. David Wilson says:

    President Trump’s problem with Canada is PM Trudeau.Trump knows that Trudeau is a lightweight and a pure narcissist. He regards Trudeau as a threat to national security.He will use NAFTA to diminish Trudeau while minimizing anti-Trump blowback from Canadians.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linus in W.PA. says:

      Respectfully, when have we really ever given a feces what the Canadians think?

      What kind of anti-Trump ‘blowback’ is of concern from Oh Canada??

      Like

  19. Joe says:

    Hell hath no fury like an international banker scorned. Trump will string this out as long as he needs and then pull the plug.

    Like

  20. Esperanza says:

    I just sent an email to Gator cases, FL, I asked where their cases were made. They said overseas. I said I would wait till they brought production back to the US and could certify worker health insurance, environmental laws, childcare leave, education, basic democratic institutions etc.

    I invite everyone to do this a) pressurise companies and b) make their employees think.

    The problem with what I call enforced trade, is with all the “stuff” here, we can’t compete. Example: we’re going to get beef from Argentina. What kind of veterinary care will the cattle be getting, compared to here? I used to KNOW professionally the cattle vets round here. He also did horses and pets.

    Like

  21. Esperanza says:

    Wow, iron ore stats. Get this. Canada, 2015 46 000 000 tonnes. 9th producer. Yet they have no foundry functioning. So, Canadian ore is presumably shipped to China, then back to Canadia then trucked to the US. And they have the hypocritical gall to harp on about the environment? And could they please tell me about Trans rights in China and the shipping industry under flags of convenience? I bet the best place for Trans is amongst the US truckers hauling the last leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. jeans2nd says:

    The latest CFR attempt at manipulation –
    Renegotiating Nafta Trade Deal: A U.S. National Security Necessity
    https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/renegotiating-nafta-trade-deal-a-u-s-national-security-necessity/

    A necessity, mind you. However did we make it through well over 200 years and two world wars, not to mention the Alamo, without NAFTA?

    One of the most exhausting exercises in pretzel logic ever attempted. But thanks for playing.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bob Thoms says:

    Great stuff……………

    Like

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