NAFTA talks to resume in afternoon after Canada cites 'goodwill'

Dairy Trade

Though the US president often threatens to withdraw from NAFTA, the latest pledges are piling up pressure on negotiators who are trying to wrap up more than a year's worth of talks and strike a deal that could be signed before December 1.

Canada and the US remain far apart on several issues including dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

In addition, the tentative deal would require that at least 75 percent of an automobile's value be produced in North America (as opposed to, say, China) if that vehicle is to qualify for duty-free importation into the US.

Pressed once more to talk Trump, she said curtly: "I'll take the next question".

Washington and Ottawa pulled back Friday from a standoff that threatened to end in Canada's exclusion from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trilateral arrangement that includes Mexico. "As the Trump administration has been dealing with trade around the country, what I've been doing is, as it impacts Florida businesses, I've been talking to Bob Lighthizer, who's the federal trade representative, and letting him know the importance of free trade and how it's impacting Florida businesses", Scott said. Sources familiar with the Canadian bargaining position say the cultural exemption Canada has insisted on preserving since NAFTA talks reopened remains an 11th-hour sticking point. We haven't seen whole chapters of the thing.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her counterpart, USA trade czar Robert Lighthizer, are expected to meet in Washington today after what was expected to be a long night of work by their NAFTA negotiators.

Despite Trump's tough talk, that U.S. negotiators have chose to keep negotiating is due primarily to the fact that Congress has underlined that any revised deal must include both Canada and Mexico, The NYT noted.

Trudeau has taken to saying that "no NAFTA deal is better than a bad deal" as he tours the country. -Canada negotiations had initially generated hopeful signals from both camps that a deal could be struck by the end of the week - but hard discussions about dairy and dispute settlement persisted. 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.

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Trump has threatened to push ahead with a bilateral deal with Mexico, effectively killing the nearly 25-year-old three-country NAFTA pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade. A lot is riding on a new NAFTA deal.

"I think there are strong constituencies for the cultural exemption, particularly in Quebec... and I think it's something that they can bring home as a likely win", Ujczo said.

"We are making good progress".

"We're not going to accept that we should have to sign a bad deal just because the president wants that", Trudeau told Edmonton radio station CHED. "But they and other countries have been taking advantage of the United States for many years".

Canadian negotiators are also trying to protect Canada's dairy sector from American demands in NAFTA renegotiations.

Trump, according to the Star report, said he frequently reminds Canada that if necessary he will slap painful tariffs on auto imports.

Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox. "I think the relationship between Canada and the U.S. is so close and deep", he says, "that it will take more than one president to destroy it".

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