Mexican auto exports surge in 2017 despite NAFTA fears

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump meet at the White House Oct. 11 2017

Mexican auto exports surge in 2017 despite NAFTA fears

"A US withdrawal from NAFTA would cost the USA pork industry $1.5 billion".

Mexican auto production and exports hit a record high in 2017, far outpacing growth in 2016, despite fears that shipments could be hurt by a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with top trading partners the United States and Canada. "We knew the last round of talks ended with a very cold shoulder being given by the Americans to Canada and Mexico's positions, and we heard from Mr Trump saying we'll probably have to pull out", CIBC Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld said.

Canadian officials say they expect contentious issues as part of any trade negotiation but are ready to work with the USA and Mexico toward an updated NAFTA.

The three NAFTA countries are set to meet for a sixth round of negotiations later in January, and Trump has maintained if the USA can't get a better deal, he will withdraw from the pact completely.

Reuters reported, citing two Canadian government sources, that Canada is increasingly convinced that Trump will pull the USA out of the trade agreement. Canada has been pushing Nafta's USA defenders to speak up to save the pact - the officials' comments Wednesday may add domestic pressure on Mr Trump to not issue the withdrawal notice.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was quick to label Canada's complaint as bad for the bilateral relationship.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.7 per cent to C$1.2574 against the greenback at 4pm in Toronto. "The timing on this, while potentially unfortunate as we are in a trade negotiation with USA, but the WTO moves poisonously slowly", Dawson said of Canada's move. "But think of it: When Mexico is making all of that money, when Canada is making all of that money, it's not the easiest negotiation".

Still, the remarks lacked any defense of the pact and didn't erase the notion that Trump may, at any point, decide to ditch the deal.

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