Canada to resume NAFTA talks

Marcus Newton
September 14, 2018

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday for talks aimed at rescuing the North American Free Trade Agreement as time was running short before an October 1 deadline.

US and Canadian trade representatives are set to meet this week to advance NAFTA negotiations between the two countries.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said just last week that the process was needed, because Trump "doesn't always follow the rules."

Mr. Ujczo said he doesn't believe Mr. Trump feels strongly about Chapter 19.

Even Prime Minister Trudeau suggested in an interview a week ago Canada was willing to bend on dairy.

"But it would also be devastating to the American auto industry". However, it was only a matter of hours beforehand that Freeland told reporters that, "Both sides did a lot of thinking over the weekend, so this was a very productive meeting".

"I think this is a complicated time for employees".

The two countries will meet in Washington on Tuesday to decide how they'll include the U.S.'s agreement with Mexico into the deal.

Candian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland walks out of the U.S. Trade Representative's office to speak to journalists in Washington, U.S., August 28, 2018. "It would be a good modernized deal if Canada is brought into it".

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Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue meeting with her USA counterpart.

"We're looking for a deal which is good for Canadians, which is good for Canadian workers, which is good for Canadian families (and) good for Canadian farmers", Freeland said on "The West Block". "At the end of the day, neighbors help each other when they need help".

As a result of what Freeland described as their "hard work", officials decided it would be best to hold a meeting.

"The atmosphere is absolutely professional", she said.

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 favor domestically produced content.

"We're negotiating all this at once".

How negotiations play out will determine the fate of numerous jobs and hundreds of billions in trade between the two nations.

Still, "with a bit of flexibility, things could move quickly", the source added. Freeland is scheduled to attend the Liberals' caucus retreat Wednesday in Saskatoon and it's unclear whether she will return to the US capital late in the week.

US Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft meanwhile delivered an address in Gander, Newfoundland, where dozens of in-bound flights were diverted in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior worldwide trade adviser for a Washington law firm.

"Sure, it's business and it's important, but Gander is the place that - in a snapshot - illustrates the Canada/U.S. relationship".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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