Trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada pass deadline without a deal

01 September, 2018, 20:21 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • US President Donald Trump

The minister is expected to announce that her intense days-long talks with her American counterpart are progressing well, but that they will take a break for the long weekend and resume next week.

At the end of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's social media video touting the free trade breakthrough between the USA and Mexico, he held up three fingers saying what Mexico really wants is a deal "between Mexico, the USA and Canada, in which we all win".

In the early days, the question seemed to be whether Canada would throw Mexico under the bus and make a bilateral deal with the U.S.

Similarly, Canadian officials told The Canadian Press early on Friday that expectations a NAFTA deal is imminent are exaggerated and premature.

Trump said it would create a more level playing field for American service industries, including the critical sector of financial services.

But it was mostly a report from the Toronto Star that made noise in the United States capital, with the outlet saying Trump boasted in an interview that he was playing hardball with Canada in the talks. "Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off..." "They violated it and they said they were violating it", Trump continued.

The paper acknowledged that the remarks were made "off the record" and that Bloomberg accepted the request not to make them public, but said "the Star is not bound by any promises Bloomberg made to Trump".

Here are the next procedural steps to move forward with the deal and the outstanding issues that need to be resolved between the United States and Canada.

"They see the quotes as confirmation of suspicions that the Trump team isn't working to make a win-win deal today", he tweeted.

"And I said, off the record, and I made a statement about Canada, which is fine".

The new NAFTA agreement that is taking shape will likely strengthen North America as a manufacturing base by making it more costly for automakers to import a large share of vehicle parts from outside the region. I am used to it.

"I intend to enter into the agreement by the end of November 2018", Trump said.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks during negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement in October.

"We're not there yet", she cautioned. "He has brought good faith and good will to the table".

Freeland emerged briefly Thursday night to say the two sides, including her and Lighthizer, would continue to meet. "With goodwill and flexibility on all sides, I know we can get there".

He has threatened to leave Canada on the sidelines since announcing a breakthrough with Mexico on Monday. "We still don't know the specifics of this trade agreement, or whether it will measure up to the claims of an administration with a awful record of delivering", she said. "And we're working hard to find that win-win space".

In February 2017, Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and its Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo visited Toronto and received reassurances Canada wanted to work with Mexico. The Impala is built at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont.

The Canadian side was insisting that the US agree to preserve the "Chapter 19" dispute-resolution system that allows certain duties to be challenged at an independent tribunal rather than in the domestic courts of the country that has imposed the duties.

Bloomberg News did not comment about the off-the-record remarks to the Toronto Star.

Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said it's crucial for Canada to ensure Chapter 19 stays.

Where things stand with CanadaWhile Friday's deadline was arbitrary, the notification to Congress does start a countdown clock for US-Canadian negotiations. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs.

After Trudeau spoke with regional leaders, they appeared to soften their tone in defense of Canada's protected dairy sector, suggesting a compromise may be in the works that would grant the United States greater access to the Canadian milk market.



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