Negotiators from the U.S, Mexico and Canada are preparing to tackle the thorny issue of how much American content should be included in goods assembled on the continent, according to an agenda of talks on a new North American Free Trade Agreement.
Officials will discuss so-called rules of origin on Friday, followed by sessions Sunday and Monday, according to the agenda obtained by Bloomberg News. The Trump administration is expected to aggressively push to increase content requirements for cars, which Magna International Inc. has warned could add to complexity and costs for the industry.
The U.S. is expected to propose substantially raising the regional requirement to receive the pact’s benefits, from 62.5 percent currently, and to potentially add a U.S.-specific content requirement.
Talks resumed Wednesday with increasing signs that the negotiations may fall apart as the U.S. pushes for changes that would reduce its trade deficit and bring back manufacturing jobs. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is meeting on Wednesday with President Donald Trump, who this week repeated his threat to pull the U.S. out of the 23-year-old accord.
The fourth round of negotiations that opened Wednesday near Washington will also include discussions on financial services, according to the agenda. Negotiators are also scheduled to talk about labor, agriculture, digital trade, investment and energy, among other issues. The talks will conclude Oct. 16, according to the agenda. Ministers will hold a press conference on Oct. 17.