Monday, 19 November, 2018

Canada prepared to play deadline spoiler in NAFTA talks

Canada and U.S. return to NAFTA negotations President Trump looks to rebrand NAFTA
Jeannette Daniel | 16 September, 2018, 01:40

The American leader's latest effort to goad Canada into cutting a deal comes as talks remain stalemated over USA access to Canada's heavily protected dairy market and the future of the binding Chapter 19 appeal process for companies hit by anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

Ottawa and Washington are working to reach an agreement by September 30, the deadline by which the Trump administration must provide Congress with a preliminary text of the deal signed with Mexico in August.

Guajardo told reporters that Mexico still wants Canada to join the agreement to make it trilateral, saying that would be a "great asset".

But there are still sticky issues for the United States and Canada to work out: an worldwide system for resolving disputes, Canada's protected dairy industry and Canadian cultural subsidies.

Canada and the United States are still arguing over cultural protections, an American demand for more access to the Canadian dairy market and a dispute resolution mechanism that Canada wants to keep and Washington insists be scrapped. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

If this time frame holds true, Canada and the US have roughly until the end of November to reach a deal over these contentious negotiations. She declined to say when she would return to Washington, but talked about she is persistent contact with U.S. Swap Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Late Thursday, Mexican chief negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos tweeted that his country is fine with a bilateral deal as well.

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"We'll do the work and try and get there as quick as we can, but we're going to make sure that we're doing what is necessary to get the right deal for Canadians", Trudeau said at the end of a meeting of legislators from his ruling Liberal Party in the western city of Saskatoon.

The outcome of negotiations, now in their 13th month, will determine the economic and trade relationship between the three North American countries, with the prospects of numerous workers and industries hanging in the balance.

"I expect we'll probably have several more sessions".

"We'll see if the Americans are ready to come to the table to do a deal". There is still plenty to do to deliver on the agenda promised in the 2015 election and, in any event, Trudeau said that agenda is working to grow the economy and improve the lives of middle-class Canadians.

Donald Trump has already informed the Congress that he wanted to sign a treaty with Mexico, and, if possible, with the Canada, before the end of November.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Trump mused about renaming the trade pact "USMC" - with "M" referring to Mexico and "C" for Canada - based on his disdain for the NAFTA moniker.

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