Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Canada's Freeland says U.S. NAFTA talks still constructive, productive

Canada's Freeland says U.S. NAFTA talks still constructive, productive

Officials say the main sticking points are Canada's dairy quota regime, Ottawa's desire to keep a dispute-resolution mechanism, and Canadian media laws that favour (921.23 billion pounds) domestically produced content.

"In some countries, including Canada, a tax on cars would be the ruination of the country".

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.

"Canada has been ripping us off for a long time".

Brian Mulroney says Canada needs to put a little more water in its milk if it expects to make a new NAFTA deal with a hard-bargaining US president whose political fortunes depend heavily on being able to declare victory for American dairy farmers.

With so much uncertainty, Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have regularly been dogged by questions about the fate of NAFTA.

Mulroney acknowledged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is on a short leash from the White House when it comes to what he can offer in the talks, but noted that Trump trusts Lighthizer a lot.

Trump has raised pressure on Ottawa, threatening to impose duties on Canadian auto imports, which Trudeau said would be "devastating" for the Canadian auto sector. Trump wanted changes that would destroy family farms across Canada, he said. 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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"This isn't like some of the other NAFTA rounds where people were introducing poison pills for political reasons or otherwise", he said.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the NAFTA discussions says an agreement is within reach, but getting there will require flexibility from all sides.

On Monday, Trudeau provided little information when asked by prominent US journalist Katie Couric for an update on the negotiations during an on-stage interview.

The director of public Affairs of Teamsters Canada, Christopher Monette, who attended behind-the-scenes to the most recent negotiations in Washington, believes that the administration, Trump would not touch the system of supply management, particularly as it relates to the dairy industry.

Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal without Canada.

Mulroney, the former prime minister widely considered the father of the modern era of North American free trade, held court Tuesday in Ottawa on the fate of the intercontinental trade pact as talks to modernize NAFTA resumed on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. "That's not who we are", Craft said in prepared remarks.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars". "We continue to work hard and we are positively optimistic that we can get to a win-win-win for all three countries".

Experts note that the desire to make a trade deal happen is influenced by upcoming political events, including the US midterm elections in November, a transition of presidential power in Mexico in December and next year's Canadian election.

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