Higgins, House Ways & Means Committee meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

NAFTA: Donald Trump refuses to commit to trade pact

Trump: Trade deal possible with Canada, minus Mexico

"If we can't make a deal, it'll be terminated and that will be fine", Trump said, using his typical bare-knuckle approach to top level diplomacy.

The newspaper said British ministers were looking at joining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as part of planning for the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union in March 2019 without a trade deal. "We have to protect our workers and in all fairness, the Prime Minister wants to protect Canada as well as its people, so the agreement has to be fair for both countries".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened Wednesday to cancel a major arms buy from the U.S. over a tariffs row, as talks on a North American free trade deal got off to a rocky start.

Asked during his appearance with Trudeau whether NAFTA was dead, Trump said, "We'll see what happens".

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The prime minister arrives in Mexico looking for a friendly ear in President Enrique Pena Nieto, himself no stranger to hostility from the Trump administration, who will receive Trudeau at the presidential palace with military honors.

Following the most recent round in Ottawa last month, negotiators said they had made progress on subjects such as telecommunications, competition policy, digital trade, regulation and customs and trade facilitation.

"There's a path to be optimistic", he said. The US president has made revamping the trade pact with its neighbors and reducing the country's trade deficit a pillar of his nationalist economic agenda.

The North American Free Trade Agreement, long disparaged by President Donald Trump as bad for the United States, was edging closer toward collapse as negotiators gathered for a fourth round of contentious talks here this week. And with no trade incentive to manufacture in the United States other than to avoid the 25 percent truck tariff, more full vehicle production would migrate to low-priced countries such as China, auto experts say.

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Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director at Moody's Analytics, wrote in a report that the probability of a breakup of the 1994 trade agreement has increased.

Almost 9 million jobs in the USA depend on trade and investment with Canada, and approximately 400,000 people cross the U.S. But Mexican leaders have also warned that talks must conclude early next year before their presidential election campaign gets underway.

Mexico has been more assertive with Washington, talking openly about abandoning NAFTA if need be or slashing imports of US grain.

In a speech on the same day in Mexico City, US Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Tom Donohue warned: "There are several poison-pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal". USA negotiators have countered with a proposal that would effectively grant the other countries less access, people familiar with the talks say.

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The Chamber and the trade group for Mexico's auto industry already have come out against an anticipated proposal to raise USA -specific content. "We have always understood that draining the swamp would be controversial in Washington".

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