U.S. procurement demand on Canada, Mexico fading from NAFTA: sources

U.S. procurement demand on Canada, Mexico fading from NAFTA: sources

The United States has backed away from its contentious demands for lucrative procurement projects in the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement, The Canadian Press has learned.

Mexico and Canada are both quietly taking credit for standing firm against the controversial U.S. position that would have effectively limited their respective countries’ ability to bid on valuable American government infrastructure projects.

Multiple sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, cited the competing claims as one example of the animosity between Canada and Mexico that has arisen since Mexico reached its own NAFTA deal with the Trump administration last month.

Canada and the United States are trying to renegotiate their portion of the three-country trade pact at the heart of the continent’s economic prosperity, but major sticking points such as dairy, dispute resolution and culture remain.

Canada has credited Mexico with making significant concessions in its deal with the U.S. on automobiles and for permitting large wage increases for Mexican auto workers – something Canada and the U.S. both wanted to stop the growing flow of automobile production into Mexico because of its cheap labour.

But Mexico believes it has also done much of the “heavy lifting” on getting the Americans to back down on its demand to limit the ability of Canadian and Mexican firms to bid on U.S. infrastructure projects, while seeking greater access for American firms to Mexican and Canadian government projects.

The proposal offended Canada and Mexico when it was tabled by U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer last fall during the early […]

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