China trade talks are not top priority, says US Treasury Secretary

China trade talks are not top priority, says US Treasury Secretary

Canada had been on the sidelines for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement but got back in the game with new urgency after the USA and Mexico announced a tentative deal Monday.

The legal ability to formalize the deal without Canada has been called into question - U.S. Congress, not Trump, has jurisdiction over trade and would need to ratify the new deal, while Mexico is soon to have a new president.

In addition to dodging that bullet, the agreement marks a significant backtrack from some of the initial proposals that the Trump administration floated in Nafta negotiations, including an 85 percent Nafta-sourced parts content requirement and a 50 percent US -sourced provision.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived in Washington, DC, for additional trade talks on Tuesday.

And Canadian officials have insisted Trump remove tariffs he recently imposed on steel and aluminum imports before they can finalize any deal. Freeland will be on the call as well as Dominic LeBlanc, intergovernmental affairs minister, and David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.

One of the main sticking points for Canada in the revised deal is the USA effort to dump the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism that hinders the United States from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.

Will she be presiding over the death of the 24-year-old continental trade pact?

Senior administration officials pointed to the deal as making both America and Mexico better off.

"I would say that we are concerned about how this negotiation has proceeded".

"It's time for our countries to resolve these issues and lock in an updated track agreement", said Steve Nelson, the group's president.

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By Wednesday, after round-the-clock talks among officials from all three countries, a cautious Trudeau said it was possible for a new three-country treaty to come together by week's end - but he added Canada refused to be rushed into a poor deal just to meet Trump's deadline.

But Trump's trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, told reporters in Washington that the administration plans to push ahead with a U.S. -Mexico agreement, leaving Canada the option of joining in later.

Donald Trump's administration is giving Canada until Friday to sign onto a bilateral trade deal between the USA and Mexico or be treated as "a real outsider" against whom punishing tariffs on autos will be imposed.

Negotiations among the three partners, whose mutual trade totals more than $1.2 trillion annually, have dragged on for more than a year, putting pressure on the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar. But while he regularly says he won't dismantle supply management, he has left the door open to giving the USA a cut of the market.

The good news for carmakers is that Canada will likely sign on to a similar agreement, said Mark Wakefield, head of the auto practice at consultant AlixPartners.

On a brighter side, Mexico as agreed to make concession on its auto industry.

"My position on defending supply management hasn't changed, we will defend supply management", Trudeau told reporters in Montreal Tuesday.

"Whether or not Canada agrees with the concept of a NAFTA reboot, we suspect it does little to benefit the loonie", he wrote on Tuesday.

She doesn't have much time, because Lighthizer intends to formally notify Congress of the deal with Mexico on Friday. On Monday, he suggested that the parties might be close to a new framework after more than a year of negotiations.

Trump made these comments during an oddly riveting televised event from the White House, where he had Mexico's outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, on speakerphone.

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