The Real NAFTA Problem Is With Canada, Not Mexico, Ryan Says

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Trump told the Wall Street Journal he was "a little flexible" on the timetable for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks, saying he did not want to rush a deal prior to upcoming elections in Mexico.

Canadian government bond prices rose across the yield curve and railway, pipeline and other trade-sensitive stocks weighed on the country's main index.

"There's been chatter in the market going into this week that it was coming up", Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.

Canadian government sources told Reuters on Wednesday they were increasingly convinced the United States plans to announce it intends to pull out of NAFTA. "When it comes to the more unconventional USA proposals, we have been doing some creative thinking, we've been talking with Canadian stakeholders and we have some new ideas that we look forward to talking with our USA and Mexican counterparts about in Montreal".

She made her remarks amid signs that Canada and Mexico might be prepared to reverse their steadfast opposition to several USA hard line demands for changes to NAFTA.

A White House spokesman said on Wednesday there had been no change in Trump's position on NAFTA. His negotiating team has set proposals that have alarmed their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

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But Champagne talked about the "diversification imperative" - trying to expand Canada's trade with Europe, Asia and South America so that it's less reliant on the U.S.

A US withdrawal from NAFTA would not signal the end of cross-border trade, but there's little question the imposition of new tariffs would make business more expensive in both countries - though it's not clear by how much, Dekker said.

General Motors Co shares fell 2.4 percent. Trucks built there could be subject to a 25 percent tariff if the US exits NAFTA. Canada's dollar and Mexico's peso dropped and Mexican stocks retreated following reports on Wednesday that Canada sees an increasing chance the US will exit Nafta. He most recently told reporters at Camp David Saturday, "I believe Mexico will pay for the wall".

Such an announcement by Trump would trigger a six-month countdown to the United States exit from NAFTA.

A relatively modest reversal would result because Canadian policy would not be static - the collapse of NAFTA would likely trigger looser monetary policy, a weaker dollar, new trade deals and adjustments to fiscal policy.

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