Wilbur Ross: NAFTA Negotiations Face Timing Pressure in 2018

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday said talks to update the NAFTA trade pact with Mexico and Canada are facing timing pressure in 2018 when various regional elections and other trade issues could overshadow negotiations.

“If you get much into 2018, the political calendar will overwhelm the trade calendar,” Ross told CNBC in an interview, adding that auto parts are a key issue in the effort to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Ross also told CNBC on Friday that autos and auto parts are a key area in overhauling the 1994 trade pact.

The “scariest part” of NAFTA as it’s currently written is that autos and auto parts make up nearly all of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada, Ross told “Squawk Box.”

“The sharp growth is parts coming in from outside NAFTA, from China, from Southeast Asia,” he said, stressing a free trade zone

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