NAFTA talks to be held

Added On August 13, 2017

Mexico, the US and Canada will sit down next week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with an eye to boosting trade exchange and competitiveness in the region.
The first trilateral talks will be held from Aug. 16 to 20 in Washington, as part of a renegotiation effort that could entail six to nine negotiating rounds.
The second gathering will be hosted in Mexico City at the beginning of September.
Mexico's Economy Ministry expects to hold "constructive" talks with its two regional trade partners that will lead to greater trade and investment flows.
A Canadian Senator says it will be a very tough and unpredictable renegotiation.
SOUNDBITE: Yuen Pau Woo, Canadian Senator 01:25 -  01:39
"It is highly unpredictable. I think we should brace ourselves for a tough negotiation. We should brace ourselves for unforeseen circumstances that could take the negotiations in an unexpected direction.”
U.S. President Donald Trump has often criticized NAFTA, calling it the worst trade deal ever signed. 
SOUNDBITE: Yuen Pau Woo, Canadian Senator 00:27 - 01:02
"I don’t want to get into the mind of Donald Trump, but his motivation is not dissimilar to the underlying problem that’s facing many western industrialized countries. Is that there is a large, I don’t want to call it underclass, but a large group of citizens in most if not all western industrialized countries that have seen their wages and employment and general welfare stagnate over the years, despite economic growth for the economy as a whole."
The 23-year-old trade deal between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. created what was once the world’s largest free-trade area, and it removed barriers against the passing of goods and workers between the three North American nations. 
It also created an independent trade dispute-settlement process.