NAFTA talks resume Friday with tariff-free auto parts on the table

James Hollifield, director of SMU's Tower Center, talks about the importance of NAFTA, which has been under attack by Pres. Trump.

By Alfredo Corchado
Border-Mexico Correspondent

MEXICO CITY -- Officials for Canada, Mexico and the United States will renew talks here Friday, amid a cloud of uncertainty  and animosity that hangs over negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As the talks drag on, now expected to continue through March, the possibility of any real gains are likely to become even slimmer as elections loom for the three countries, particularly Mexico, which holds presidential elections in July. Crucial midterm congressional elections are in November in the U.S. NAFTA could muddy the campaign waters even more, experts say.  . . .

President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from what he has called “the worst trade deal ever” if his team cannot revamp the 23-year-old agreement to benefit the U.S. His blunt, harsh language also worries investors and pushes the Mexican peso downward. . . .

“Tearing the North American community apart would destroy many jobs and hurt the competitiveness of Texas companies across the board,” said James Hollifield, director of the Tower Center at Southern Methodist University. “Other companies from Asia, like Toyota, and Europe, like Siemens, have sited their operations in D-FW to take advantage of the strategic location of D-FW at the heart of the North American economy.”

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