US Offers Proposal That Could Kill NAFTA in Five Years

Britain's Prime Minster Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London

But he added: "President Trump played the role of "the terminator" on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal".

The Chamber estimates that about 14m U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, and more than $1bn in commerce is conducted daily across the southern and northern borders.

When asked for comment on The Telegraph report, the spokesman said: "We are confident that we will find a deal that works for Britain and Europe too".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened Wednesday to cancel a major arms buy from the United States over a tariffs row, as talks on a North American free trade deal got off to a rocky start.

"We are much worse off with a bad deal than without a deal", said Guillermo Vogel, Vice President of Steelmaker Tenaris, who co-hosted a meeting of Mexican and USA business leaders in Mexico City aimed at pursuing strategies of defending NAFTA. "The problem is that we are running against a clock", he says.

"There's a path to be optimistic here and, you know, maybe he'll come around", Morneau said, an apparent reference to Trump.

"Thus far, we have made good progress, and I look forward to several days of hard work", Lighthizer said.

Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo is the man in charge of Mexico's NAFTA team, and he said this week that Mexico's economy has advanced to a point where it can live without the trilateral trade accord.

Mexico and Canada would fare better because they previously charged higher tariffs than the United States and would revert to those levels.

"The companies represented at the Business Roundtable are very concerned with reports that the Trump administration will weaken NAFTA with drastic changes that would disrupt supply chains that have greatly benefited US businesses, workers and consumers over the last two decades", Josh Bolten, BRT's president and CEO of the group, wrote in a blog post.

The trade negotiations this week in Washington have gotten off to a rocky start, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warning that the Trump administration might be sabotaging the talks with unrealistic proposals.

The country's foreign relations secretary said this week it would not be a big deal for Mexico to just walk away from the talks, and that Mexico won't accept "limited, managed trade" _ an apparent reference to demands for higher US and regional content rules on products like auto parts.

On automotive rules of origin, NAFTA negotiators face tough new USA demands to increase regional vehicle content to 85 percent from 62.5 percent, with 50 percent required from the United States, according to people briefed on the plan. Under the United States proposal, America would require more to be made in the country and less sourced from other members of the block.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned against so-called "poison pill" proposals by the U.S., including the sunset clause. "Any trade proposal that makes multinational corporations nervous is a good sign that it's moving in the right direction for workers".

In an earlier statement, Mr Donohue said abandoning Nafta would create an "existential threat" to North America's national and economic security.

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