U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the fourth round of NAFTA renegotiation talks have concluded with ''significant conceptual gaps'' between the parties. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico on Tuesday (October 17) wrapped up a contentious round of NAFTA negotiations with the representatives in a statement saying new proposals have resulted in "significant conceptual gaps" among the members. "Parties have now put forward substantially all initial text proposals. New proposals have created challenges and ministers discussed the significant conceptual gaps among the parties," Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, said. The Trump administration's proposals to reshape the North American Free Trade Agreement to help shrink U.S. trade deficits have clouded the talks to modernize the 23-year pact, leaving some participants and analysts wondering how an impasse can be avoided. Washington's demands, previously identified as red lines by its neighbors, include forcing renegotiations every five years, reserving the lion's share of automotive manufacturing for the United States and making it easier to pursue import barriers against some Canadian and Mexican goods. Mexican and Canadian officials at the talks, currently being held in Washington and expected to resume in Mexico City later this month, have said those proposals are unacceptable while stressing their governments will not walk away from the table.