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NAFTA uncertainty could be pausing business investment in Canada: Morneau

NAFTA uncertainty could be pausing business investment in Canada: Morneau

"For the last three weeks now the (Mexican) peso has been on fire, which says to me that the NAFTA concerns are a bit overblown", Cieszynski said.

The U.S.is serious about its threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement if there's no breakthrough on proposals the Trump administration has made that are meant to rebalance trade on the continent, said one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiations aren't public.

But Trump told the Wall Street Journal last week that he would be "a little bit flexible" on the withdrawal threat. "They did not vote for Donald Trump because of NAFTA, they chose to set that aside". Even still, the agriculture secretary's comments may offer some hope for agribusiness lobbyists and other NAFTA supporters who warn that scrapping the accord will bring painful economic costs.

US officials are particularly frustrated with what they see as Canada's intransigence at the table, according to the two people. Canada sends about 75 percent of its exports to the United States.

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NAFTA supports 110,000 Arkansas jobs, said Dan Hendrix, president and chief executive officer of the Arkansas World Trade Center.

"You won't talk to a single farmer who is against NAFTA", Ottensmeyer said. "I think at one point they thought that the lobbyists and others would just overwhelm President Trump into thinking NAFTA was just great and we shouldn't do anything".

The U.S., Canada and Mexico have general agreement on about 40% of the topics being negotiated in NAFTA talks, and Mexico may be able to accept an increase in the minimum regional content for vehicles traded under the deal, according to the nation's ambassador to Washington. "They're coming to the point where they know they're going to need to address some of these issues that are on the table". Agricultural production alone, he says, may not account for a big percentage of the USA economy, but when you add in other aspects of the entire ag industry-packing, food processing, and transportation, among others- agriculture's footprint gets much bigger.

The 47-year-old Gutierrez, who became ambassador to the US last year following Trump's election, spent the previous half decade as managing director of the North America Development Bank based in San Antonio, Texas.

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