Canada's Freeland says NAFTA talks 'positive and constructive'

08 September, 2018, 02:10 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • A New NAFTA Without Canada? Unions and Tech Push Back Against Trump's Mexico-Only Deal

The two major trading partners spent most of last week trying to whittle down and resolve the toughest issues ahead, such as more USA market access to Canadian dairy, intellectual property protections and dispute settlement rules.

He can either push back against USA demands and risk being cut out of a continental trade deal, or give in and be accused by opposition parties of capitulating to Donald Trump. He told an Alberta radio station that Canada would insist on keeping a NAFTA provision for settling disputes "because that ensures that the rules are actually followed". On the dispute panels, he called it a matter of fairness. The Trump administration views it as an infringement of USA sovereignty.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 76 cents to $69.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price global oils, shed 64 cents to $77.51 per barrel in London. After consulting with Mulroney over the weekend, Trudeau made clear he shares that view.

The U.S. and Mexico reached a side deal last month, leaving Canada to negotiate separately with the U.S.

"We have red lines that Canadians simply will not accept", Trudeau said.

The Trump administration notified Congress last week that it could enter into a new trade deal with Mexico, but legislative procedure would allow Canada to enter into the agreement up until September 30 - when the text of the trade pact must be submitted to Congress.

The goal of this week's talks is to reach a deal by December 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico's new president takes office.

As the two sides met for talks, new economic data showed that the US trade deficit with Canada continues to grow, hitting $3.1 billion in July, potentially providing ammunition to Trump who has accused Canada of "cheating" Americans.

Freeland insisted that the latest round of talks is being conducted in in "good faith".

The central bank discussed whether the gradual approach to raising rates that it has been taking over the past year remained appropriate, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said in a speech.

His annual report on barriers to US trade this year singled out the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's decision in 2015 to ban the long-time practice of Canadian advertisers inserting their ads into the Super Bowl broadcast over the more popular American ones.

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Freeland flew to Washington last week for four days of negotiations to try to keep Canada within the regional trade bloc.

Mexican and US officials have invited Canada to rejoin the talks, and Mexican and Canadian authorities act as though Canada will rejoin negotiations as a "third partner", but make no mistake - Canada will be negotiating with the USA and, in light of the president's complaints about Canadian dairy tariffs, the highest hurdle will be Canada's supply management programs.

In addition, news is awaited from US-Canada talks on a revamped NAFTA while financial turmoil in Argentina and Turkey remains a worry, as do figures released Thursday showing an unexpected fall in German industrial orders in July.

"The deal is a much more fair deal between the United States and Mexico", Trump said.

Canadian and USA officials are meeting on Wednesday in a bid to settle disagreements holding up the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Chicago Tribune: "Car prices projected to increase under Trump trade agreement with Mexico" - "New vehicle prices will rise, along with demand for used cars, as a result of President Donald Trump 's tentative trade agreement with Mexico". But that's not set in stone, said Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright.

"I think that it's not necessarily a disaster", she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Speaking to dozens of supporters at a posh banquet hall, he said he believes his party won the 2015 election by putting out a message of positivity.

"We're seeing goodwill on all sides and if we see some more flexibility, then I think we can start to see things moving in a good direction", added the source.

He also noted the seven-year sentence handed down to two Reuters reporters in Myanmar and pointed to reporters gathered at the fundraiser, saying the Liberal party believes it's important to be transparent about the messages it sends to its donors.

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