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can you claim reading glasses on tax,koukou:318563069 2017 Titanium Alloy Quality Multifocal lenses Reading Glasses Men Fashion Half Rim Progressive Glasses , Trump鈥檚 Tough Talk on Nafta Raises Prospects of Pact鈥檚 Demise - The New York Times no longer supports Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Please upgrade your browser. LEARN MORE 禄 Sections Home Search Skip to content Skip to navigation View mobile version The New York Times Economy|Trump鈥檚 Tough Talk on Nafta Raises Prospects of Pact鈥檚 Demise Search Subscribe Now Log In 0 Settings Close search Site Search Navigation Search Clear this text input Go Loading... See next articles See previous articles Site Navigation Site Mobile Navigation Advertisement Supported by Economy Trump鈥檚 Tough Talk on Nafta Raises Prospects of Pact鈥檚 Demise Leer en espa帽ol By ANA SWANSONOCT. 11, 2017 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story Photo Workers in the auto parts production line of the Bosch factory in January in San Luis Potos铆, Mexico. Credit Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse 鈥 Getty Images WASHINGTON 鈥 The North American Free Trade Agreement, long disparaged by President 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.In recent weeks, the Trump administration has sparred with American businesses that support Nafta and has pushed for significant changes that negotiators from Mexico and Canada say are nonstarters. All the while, the president has continued threatening to withdraw the United States from the trade agreement, which he has maligned as the worst in history.As the trade talks began on Wednesday, Mr. Trump, seated in the Oval Office beside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, said it was 鈥減ossible鈥 that the United States would drop out of Nafta.鈥淚t鈥檚 possible we won鈥檛 be able to make a deal, and it鈥檚 possible that we will,鈥 the president said. 鈥淲e鈥檒l see if we can do the kind of changes that we need. We have to protect our workers. And in all fairness, the prime minister wants to protect Canada and his people also. So we鈥檒l see what happens with Nafta, but I鈥檝e been opposed to Nafta for a long time, in terms of the fairness of Nafta.鈥 Advertisement Continue reading the main story Mr. Trudeau, in comments later at the Canadian Embassy, said he remains optimistic about the potential for a Nafta deal but noted that Canadians must be 鈥渞eady for anything.鈥 Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story The collapse of the 1994 trade deal would reverberate throughout the global economy, inflicting damage far beyond Mexico, Canada and the United States and affecting industries as varied as manufacturing, agriculture and energy. It would also sow at least short-term chaos for businesses like the auto industry that have arranged their North American supply chains around the deal鈥檚 terms.The ripple effects could also impede other aspects of the president鈥檚 agenda, for example, by solidifying political opposition among farm state Republicans who support the pact and jeopardizing legislative priorities like tax reform. And it could have far-reaching political effects, including the Mexican general election in July 2018 and Mr. Trump鈥檚 own re-election campaign. Photo Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada met Wednesday with members of the House Ways and Means Committee about the Nafta negotiations on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse 鈥 Getty Images Business leaders have become spooked by the increasing odds of the trade deal鈥檚 demise, and on Monday, more than 310 state and local chambers of commerce sent a letter to the administration urging the United States to remain in Nafta. Speaking in Mexico on Tuesday, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue, said the negotiations had 鈥渞eached a critical moment. And the chamber has had no choice but ring the alarm bells.鈥濃淟et me be forceful and direct,鈥 he said. 鈥淭here are several poison pill proposals still on the table that could doom the entire deal.鈥漈he potential demise of the trade deal prompted supportive messages from labor unions, including the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the United Steelworkers, as well as some Democrats.鈥淎ny trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous is a good sign that it鈥檚 moving in the right direction for workers,鈥 said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio.If the deal does fall apart, the United States, Canada and Mexico would revert to average tariffs that are relatively low 鈥 just a few percent in most cases. But several agricultural products would face much higher duties. American farmers would see a 25 percent tariff on shipments of beef, 45 percent on turkey and some dairy products, and 75 percent on chicken, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup sent to Mexico. Advertisement Continue reading the main story For months, some of the most powerful business leaders in the country, and the lobbies and political figures that represent them, had hoped that the president鈥檚 strong wording was more a negotiating tactic than a real threat and that he would ultimately go along with their agenda of modernization. Nafta is nearly a quarter-century old, and people across the political spectrum say it should be updated for the 21st century while preserving the open trading system that has linked the North American economy.The pact has allowed industries to reorganize their supply chains around the continent to take advantage of the three countries鈥 differing resources and strengths, lifting the continent鈥檚 economies and more than tripling America鈥檚 trade with Canada and Mexico since its inception. Economists contend that many workers have benefited from these changes in the form of higher wages and employment, but many workers have lost their jobs as manufacturing plants relocated to Mexico or Canada, making Nafta a target of labor unions, many Democrats and a few industries.But most business leaders had hoped that the president, whose Nafta criticism has been unrelenting, would be content to oversee tweaks to modernize the agreement, and then call it a political transformation. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Get the Morning Briefing by Email What you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday. Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. Sign Up You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. Thank you for subscribing. An error has occurred. Please try again later. You are already subscribed to this email. View all New York Times newsletters. See Sample Manage Email Preferences Not you? Privacy Policy Opt out or contact us anytime It sometimes looked as if that might be the case. The appointment of Robert Lighthizer as United States trade representative, who pledged in his confirmation hearing to 鈥渄o no harm鈥 to Nafta, reassured many on Capitol Hill, where Mr. Lighthizer had long served in aide roles. And when the administration released its negotiating goals in July for the deal, they echoed many priorities of previous administrations.But now, eight weeks into trade talks that were originally supposed to conclude by year鈥檚 end, the administration continues to push for concessions that the business community warns would essentially undermine the pact, and which few observers believe Canada and Mexico could agree to politically.鈥淓veryone knows that much of what is being proposed in key areas are, in effect, non-starters, which begs the question as to what, exactly, the administration is trying to achieve,鈥 Michael Camu帽ez, a former assistant secretary of commerce under President Barack Obama, wrote in an email. It鈥檚 not unreasonable to think that by accommodating the president鈥檚 most extreme positions, American negotiators are 鈥渟imply giving Trump cover to do what he really wants: withdraw from the agreement,鈥 he said.Phil Levy, a trade adviser for the George W. Bush administration, said the president was most likely looking for a pretext to kill Nafta.鈥淔ind me the last trade agreement that U.S. passed with the chamber in opposition,鈥 Mr. Levy said. 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 have a chance. It鈥檚 hard enough with the U.S. Chamber in favor.鈥 Advertisement Continue reading the main story The most controversial of the administration鈥檚 proposals, floated by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, would incorporate a sunset clause in the deal, causing Nafta to automatically expire unless all three countries voted periodically to continue it. That provision has drawn swift condemnation from the chamber and other industry groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, which say that it would instill so much uncertainty in the future of Nafta that it would basically nullify the trade agreement.Another contentious push by the United States centers on changing Nafta鈥檚 rules governing how much of a product needs to be made in North America in order to enjoy tariff-free trade between the countries. The United States is pushing for higher levels, including a requirement to make 85 percent of the value of automobiles and auto parts in North America, up from 62.5 percent currently, and an additional requirement for 50 percent of the value to come from the United States.That has pitted some of the world鈥檚 biggest auto companies against the Trump administration. Industry representatives say such high and complex barriers could deter companies from manufacturing in the United States altogether. Photo Employees at work in a new Honda plant in Mexico. Credit Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press The administration has also proposed limits on the number of federal government contracts that Mexican and Canadian companies can win, as well as significant changes to how disputes are resolved under Nafta.Business groups say they are firmly opposed to an American push to curtail a provision called investor-state dispute settlement, which allows companies to sue Canada, Mexico and the United States for unfair treatment under Nafta. Meanwhile, Canada has said that it will not consider dispensing with another provision, Nafta鈥檚 Chapter 19, which allows countries to challenge each other鈥檚 anti-dumping and countervailing duty decisions before an independent panel.In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Donohue called the administration鈥檚 proposed changes to these provisions 鈥渦nnecessary and unacceptable.鈥滿r. Donohue鈥檚 remarks followed a sharp exchange of words between the Chamber of Commerce, the country鈥檚 most powerful business lobby, and the Trump administration on Friday.John Murphy, senior vice president of international policy for the chamber, said the administration鈥檚 proposals had 鈥渘o identifiable constituency backing them鈥 and had sparked 鈥渁 remarkable degree of unity in their rejection.鈥 He added that business leaders had perhaps never been at odds with an administration over a trade negotiation on so many fronts. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Hours later, the administration fired back.鈥淭he president has been clear that Nafta has been a disaster for many Americans, and achieving his objectives requires substantial change,鈥 said Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the trade representative. 鈥淭hese changes of course will be opposed by entrenched Washington lobbyists and trade associations. We have always understood that draining the swamp would be controversial in Washington.鈥滿r. Trump is known for taking a tough negotiating stance, and analysts said the administration might view its ambitious opening requests as a way to gain more leverage in the Nafta negotiations. But Mr. Murphy and others in the business community cautioned that such an approach would probably be ill-fated. In both Canada and Mexico, Mr. Trump is unpopular, and caving to his demands could have devastating consequences for local politicians. Mexican government officials have repeatedly said they would not negotiate with a gun to the head.鈥淭here鈥檚 an old adage in negotiations, never take a hostage you wouldn鈥檛 shoot,鈥 Mr. Murphy said. Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the Morning Briefing newsletter. A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Business Groups Sound an Alarm As Nafta Teeters. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe Continue reading the main story We鈥檙e interested in your feedback on this page. Tell us what you think. The Trump White House The historic moments, head-spinning developments and inside-the-White House intrigue. Gunshots, a Cry of 鈥楰ill the Hostages,鈥 Then Freedom for Canadian-American Family OCT 12 Trump鈥檚 Chief of Staff, Speaking With Press, Walks a Verbal Tightrope OCT 12 Trump Makes Puzzling Claim That Rising Stock Market Erases Debt OCT 12 House Approves .5 Billion Hurricane and Wildfire Aid Package OCT 12 Trump to Scrap Critical Health Care Subsidies, Hitting Obamacare Again OCT 12 See More 禄 Related Coverage graphic How Deals Like Nafta Have Affected U.S. Trade DEC. 2, 2016 Related Coverage How Deals Like Nafta Have Affected U.S. Trade DEC. 2, 2016 graphic What's Next Loading... Go to Home Page 禄 Site Index The New York Times Site Index Navigation News World U.S. Politics N.Y. 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