U.S. waters down another key NAFTA demand: reduces autos ask by 10 per cent

The United States has softened another of its key NAFTA demands, this time lowering to 75 per cent the amount of North American content it wants cars to have in order to avoid a tariff.

That's down from the original demand of 85 per cent, and also follows an earlier decision to abandon a demand that every car include 50 per cent U.S. content.

The new U.S. position is that auto companies receive credits toward the 75 per cent threshold for certain behaviours, like paying higher salaries, which is designed to benefit production outside Mexico.

But other issues are far from settled.

As the U.S. pushes for some sort of agreement this spring, negotiating teams are meeting in Washington this week. A copy of the schedule obtained by The Canadian Press shows that the groups handling sticking points like dairy and dispute resolution are not meeting.

Plans for some sort of announcement this week at the Summit of the Americas have been dropped: First U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled his attendance, and now his trade czar Robert Lighthizer has announced he's not attending.