Trump team, Canada resume talks to revamp NAFTA

Trump team, Canada resume talks to revamp NAFTA

Under congressional rules for passing trade agreements the administration must publicly release text of the agreement 60 days before any signing, meaning wrapping up the US-Canada negotiations before then could put things back on track.

Wilkins indicated the central bank may be forced to raise interest rates if talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement fail, saying protectionist measures could spur inflation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington today to resume talks with her US counterpart aimed at bringing Canada into the NAFTA fold.

"The atmosphere continues to be constructive and positive".

Freeland offered few specifics, sticking to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public _ an agreement struck with the tough-talking Lighthizer as an act of good faith.

President Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G-7 Summit welcome ceremony in Charlevoix, Canada. "You can't fix NAFTA without fixing issues with Canada", said Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade.

Warner said Ottawa could be trying to stress that it's defending a popular issue with Canadians - particularly in Quebec - because it will have to eventually make concessions elsewhere if it hopes to strike a deal.

Wednesday was the first day that talks between the two countries resumed after four intensive days of talks last week ended on Friday without a deal after the mood soured. Nor had it made much of a ripple in public discussions on NAFTA, except during some testimony at a few USA hearings, experts say.

Trump will need congressional approval to replace or change the details of NAFTA, the 1994 trade pact crafted by then-President Bill Clinton between Mexico, the US and Canada. "We have a president that doesn't always follow the rules as they're laid out", Trudeau said in a radio interview.

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It was the hill that former Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney was willing to die on during the final hours of the original Canada-U.S. free trade deal in 1988.

Even the 25 per cent auto tariffs threatened by Trump (for reasons of national security) are just as likely to go ahead with a new NAFTA deal as without it, just as the US national security steel and aluminium tariffs occurred under NAFTA.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday indicated Canada would not bend on key demands at talks this week with the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady told reporters that differences remained between the two sides over Canada's dairy quota regime and a dispute resolution settlement procedure.

USA negotiators want to kill Chapter 19 and tabled a proposal last October to remove it from a modernized agreement.

"The United States is very concerned about this policy", Lighthizer wrote earlier this year in his annual report on barriers to US trade.

Trump is under pressure from Republicans to preserve NAFTA as a deal among all three North American countries, but the president showed signs of chafing at the pressure from Congress. It also wants to end the dispute arbitration panels, something Canada has used to defend its lumber exports to the US, which industry here says competes unfairly with domestic forestry. "We'll walk away and not sign a deal rather than sign a bad deal for Canadians".

The president said Canada's tariffs on USA dairy imports have been excessive over the years and Canada has created "walls" against US businesses.

American networks anxious that the CRTC's decision reduced the value of Canadian programming because the amount they pay for Super Bowl rights is determined by how much advertising they can sell in Canada, Lighthizer's report said. If the AFL-CIO's opposition to a NAFTA without Canada holds, it would leave Trump facing opposition by bosses, farmers, workers and politicians - every major constituency in American trade politics.

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