Freeland to resume NAFTA negotiations with Lighthizer Tuesday in Washington

14 September, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week

Canada's foreign affairs minister says Tuesday's anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States should serve as a reminder of the deep ties between the two countries as they haggle over the future of North American free trade.

Freeland and her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left the bargaining table Friday without a deal following two weeks of what she has described as intense, but productive, negotiations.

Canada and the United States have been negotiating since August 28 after Washington unveiled a proposed North American free-trade deal with Mexico and pressed Canada to sign on or be left out. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms. But as an October 1 deadline to renegotiate NAFTA looms, Canada is prepared to offer similar concessions on the dairy industry to those that it agreed to in free trade deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations, the sources said.

"I think it's something that we obviously have to be aware (of), that the president is contemplating", said Trudeau.

It's unclear how long the talks are scheduled for this week. "Canada wants to make a deal".

With the Mexico deal in hand, and Trudeau publicly indicating that Canada's red-line issues are Chapter-19 and cultural industries, the Americans have considerable leverage, he added.


Meanwhile, figures provided to CBC News show that Canada collected almost $300 million in July and August after Ottawa slapped US imports with retaliatory tariffs. This could provide ammunition to Trump, who has accused Canada of "cheating" Americans.

The in-person, high-level negotiations got back underway as events marking the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks took place around the USA, including at the Pentagon with Vice President Mike Pence, not far from where the trade meetings are taking place.

Trump has claimed that the 1994 pact has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of U.S.jobs, something that most economists dispute. The shortfall with Canada shot up 57.6 percent.

Wiens declined to say what action the organization would take if an updated NAFTA deal gave the USA a greater chunk of the Canadian market, but did not rule out campaigning against ratification of the agreement, or the Liberal government.

Trudeau says Trump's demands are in part linked to talks to update Nafta.

"Trump is relying on bluster and bullying in a desperate attempt to get Congress to swallow his half-baked deal". While China/US tensions have seemed to support the dollar, with the US seeing as to have the upper hand, NAFTA progress should be CAD and commodities which would ultimately weigh on the greenback and potentially lift the price of gold - well, at least that is what we have seen in the late hours of US trade.

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