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Loosen protections on dairy sector, New York Republican says — NAFTA talks

14 September, 2018, 20:42 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will again meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the rewrite of the 25-year-old trade deal Freeland's spokesman Adam Austen told AFP

Freeland is expected to answer questions from reporters later this afternoon. President Donald Trump has notified Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico, with Canada welcome to join the deal "if it is willing", the White House said Friday.

Trump has notified Congress he intends to sign the trade deal reached last week with Mexico by the end of November, and officials said the text would be published by around October 1.

"I believe things are going to work out. Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but US officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office. "There (just) seems to be a wild card on there".

They oversaw the last two weeks of talks but the sides were unable to resolve their differences over US access to the Canadian dairy market, a cultural exemption for Canada in the original NAFTA and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

"Sure, it's business and it's important, but Gander is the place that - in a snapshot - illustrates the Canada-U.S. relationship".

The upbeat tone contrasted with Trump's harsh criticism of Canada in recent weeks, railing on Twitter against Canada's high dairy tariffs that he said were "killing our Agriculture!" In Michigan, 259,000 jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada, the study said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, U.S., August 31, 2018.

But U.S. economists argue the dispute resolution is "on the balance".

"Our farmers don't have access to the Canadian markets the way that they have access to us".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned, however, that potential United States auto tariffs could be "devastating" for industry in both countries.

The idea of throwing NAFTA out all together is, in my view, ludicrous, as industry on both sides of the border will not stand for it and Congress will not support it.

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"Our economies have grown to become regional economies (in the decades NAFTA has been in place)".

"If (Trump) goes to Congress with a bilateral arrangement with Mexico, he's got problems - real problems", Mulroney said.

"This isn't like some of the other NAFTA rounds where people were introducing poison pills for political reasons or otherwise", he said.

That's a position that's been echoed by numerous experts, even as the political rhetoric continues to remain charged. "I can - all I have to do is tax cars - it would be devastating".

"These are complicated subjects and there's still some distance" separating the two sides, said one source close to the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe pending negotiations.

"We have all been dealing in good faith", he said.

She and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had agreed to review progress early on Thursday.

"I think there's good momentum and I think there's good honest brokering".

"It's time to update this deal after 25 years".

"It's conceivable this could be the first big trade win for President Trump's administration", Orr said.

What should Canada do at the NAFTA negotiating table?

He needs a win on trade and this would be a win on trade.

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