NAFTA nations lock horns on US auto demands as fifth round ends

1. The current round has been less confrontational than the negative tone of the October talks in Washington, where the United States set out a series of tough demands, including the auto plan, said Caroline Freund, a senior fellow and trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

2. Negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada square off on Tuesday for the last time in the fifth round of talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with stalemate brewing on a contentious proposal to ramp up regional content for autos.

3. “With U. S. tax reform front and center, the U. S. government really didn’t want to make this a big round, and (wanted) to let the technocrats get on and do the negotiating on the less controversial bits,” Freund said.

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