And while Higgins routinely votes against trade agreements, arguing they are often too broad, too vague and skewed against the American worker, he acknowledged that the Buffalo area would likely suffer if the United States did not have a trade deal with its neighbor to the north. Meanwhile, Trump ally Newt Gingrich was advising observers to ignore the bluster and expect the pact's salvation.
The most powerful US business lobby accused the Trump administration of making "poison pill proposals" to sabotage NAFTA on Tuesday, as Mexico's foreign minister said the demise of the regional trade pact would hurt bilateral cooperation.
On Thursday, Mr. Trudeau will make his first first official visit to Mexico to talk trade with President Enrique Pena Nieto. "It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will". In terms of the fairness of NAFTA, I said we'll renegotiate.
Trudeau met Trump in the Oval Office at the start of a new round of talks over NAFTA. Trudeau, for his own part, cautioned against speculation and emphasized the prospects for an agreement.
"I think there would be consequences, most of which would be negative", he said. "My optimism is based on the fact I know how good it has been".
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, one of Trump's top trade advisers, downplayed the chances that a NAFTA termination would become necessary. It's been meeting with members of the Trump administration and lawmakers from states where vehicle manufacturers have a large presence as well as holding "extensive briefings" with Republicans and Democrats on Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, he said. A letter to Mr. Trump from 310 chambers of commerce across the country on Tuesday implored the President to "do no harm" to NAFTA. "Starting to play with a non-market economy would be bad for us". "We are already your biggest customer".
Canada shelters some cultural industries such as broadcasting and filmmaking.
The CEO meeting ran in parallel to talks near Washington aimed at refreshing the 1994 agreement, with Mexico, Canada and businesses united in opposition to a number of radical USA proposals they say would damage the North American economy. He said the likelihood of passing a deal would drop after the so-called fast-track authority expires in July. The Trump administration is calling for an 85-percent threshold, with a 50-percent requirement for US -specific content.
His comments marked the second broadside the chamber has launched against the Trump administration's stance on NAFTA in less than a week.
The talks between the two leaders come at a time when Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate NAFTA deal completely.
"The president had indicated earlier that he was receptive to a trilateral, or two matching bilaterals, or (ending) NAFTA", he told a panel discussion late Wednesday.
Harper, whose Conservatives governed Canada from 2006 to 2015, warned that companies should be studying the consequences if the deal collapses. "So we'll see what happens with NAFTA", President Trump said. "It has to be a lot more than some kind of technical revamp and I think that's going to be tough to get to".
He also talked about the importance of adding a gender chapter to NAFTA, which will be discussed at this round of talks. "We don't hope it will". We don't believe that it will.