NAFTA talks make progress; US, Canadian officials to work into night

NAFTA talks make progress; US, Canadian officials to work into night

NAFTA talks make progress; US, Canadian officials to work into night

Canada rejoined the talks with the aim of reaching a three-way pact, but Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland abruptly ended the last round of talks on Friday with no deal, after derogatory remarks by Trump about Canada were leaked.

A block from the White House, where a furious Trump was Tweeting fire at the disloyalty from his inner circle, Freeland and Lighthizer pushed on with talks that cut to the core of North American prosperity.

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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the US president's aversion to following rules is a key reason Canada can't budge on a dispute settlement provision in a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.

US President Donald 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 US$1.2 trillion in trade. The legislators urged top United States negotiator Robert Lighthizer to make sure a new NAFTA deal would address Canada's protectionist dairy policies in a letter sent in April.

Lighthizer also said American broadcasters operating in border states have complained about Canadian counterparts picking up the US signals and redistributing in Canada without consent.

Campbell, who served in Brian Mulroney's cabinet and later became Canada's first female prime minister for six months in 1993 after Mulroney resigned, said Chapter 19 dispute resolution was "important" in the first 15 years of the agreement, but hasn't been used as frequently in the past decade.

In a statement Wednesday, the Bank of Canada said more hikes should be expected thanks to encouraging numbers for business investment, exports and evidence that households are adjusting to pricier borrowing costs.

"On balance, a shift to a faster pace of rate hikes seems more likely than any kind of pause", said Adam Button, a currency analyst at ForexLive.

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Freeland offered few specifics, sticking to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public _ an agreement struck with the tough-talking Lighthizer as an act of good faith.

"There are a number of things we absolutely must see in a renegotiated NAFTA", Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday. Canadian negotiators therefore have less leverage in bargaining with U.S. negotiators than they did before the U.S. -Mexico deal.

US and Canadian negotiators are continuing to work Wednesday night to reach a deal that would allow Canada to remain in a North American trade bloc.

Trump repeats his charge that Canada maintains "tremendous trade barriers". But it makes up a small amount of all the goods traded between the two countries.

Sources said both sides want a deal, but cautioned there remain disagreements on key issues, including dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Trump also has repeatedly complained about Canada's dairy management program, which uses 270 percent tariffs to impede imports, threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian auto exports unless Ottawa grants the United States unfettered market access. "The deal is a much more fair deal between the United States and Mexico".

Talks with Canada aimed at bringing the top U.S. trading partner into the tentative deal struck with Mexico broke off Friday without success, but the parties agreed to continue talks this week.

In the USA, businesses, farmers, unions and Congress insistent that there must be a three-nation agreement.

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