Josh Teitelbaum Quoted in California Apparel News Article on NAFTA Talks

California Apparel News, in its article “Trade Observers Fear Trump May Pull Out of NAFTA Negotiations,” has quoted Akin Gump counsel Josh Teitelbaum discussing a possible withdrawal by the United States from talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The article reports it is becoming more likely that President Trump will follow through on his threat to back out of the talks, although the fight over tax legislation has been occupying his attention of late.

“The temperature for a withdrawal has been ratcheted down the last few weeks, and we can expect the same until the end of the year because of the desire by the president and Congress to pass tax cuts,” said Teitelbaum, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for textiles, consumer goods and materials, during a recent webinar organized by the U.S. Fashion Industry Association. “At this point, the affirmation is that it is more likely than not that he will issue a withdrawal notice.”

With the future of NAFTA uncertain, Teitelbaum noted Mexico and Canada “are both saying we are cutting deals with other people as a way to reduce the impact of a potential NAFTA termination.”

The hottest issue in NAFTA at the moment, the article says, centers around the automobile industry. The United States wants to see tougher rules for autos made in Mexico with regard to the source country of materials used. “Canada and Mexico are rejecting the U.S. proposal outright for automobiles. They believe it is on the outside of the reasonable bounds of trade policy,” Teitelbaum said.