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Trump advisers press for dairy concessions ahead of Freeland's arrival

01 September, 2018, 19:23 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Trump has been a frequent critic of NAFTA calling it the

Trade officials worked late into the night on details, and Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, "There's a lot of goodwill on both sides".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for the latest round of negotiations, flanked by senior Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his point-man on USA relations, Brian Clow.

Trump imposed a Friday deadline for Canada to join the USA and Mexico, which is when the administration plans to give Congress its mandatory 90-day notification of the new trade deal.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Monday, August 27, for a 3-way trade deal with the United States and Canada, saying a two-way agreement reached with the U.S. was just a first step.

The Friday deadline is meant to start the mandatory 90-day waiting period soon enough that the outgoing Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, would be able to sign the agreement.

Canada's currency will push higher in the wake of a preliminary trade agreement between the United States and Mexico, according to BMO Financial Group. But in the last five weeks, Washington and Mexico City held talks to resolve their bilateral issues, especially on the auto industry rules, without Ottawa. Herman questioned how that approach could possibly be seen as falling within Trump's authority to modernize NAFTA.

Lighthizer told reporters in a call that the agreement with Mexico provided the "highest standards" of any existing agreement on digital trade, financial services and labor rights.

"The reality is, there was a bilateral agreement reached between Mexico and the United States and we weren't at the table".

The 24-year-old NAFTA, which also includes Mexico and is integral to the continent's economy, has been under renegotiation for more than 12 months.

He said there is still an opportunity for "good deal" between the US and Canada.

Trump was quick to proclaim the agreement a triumph, pointing to Monday's surge in the stock market, which was fueled in part by the apparent breakthrough with Mexico.

Videgaray Caso's declaration via social media came in response to Trump's remarks earlier in the day when he told reporters at the White House that Mexico will "easily" pay for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

There is some urgency as the United States seems eager to have the issue resolved before the November midterm elections and Pena Nieto wants to sign it before handing the reins over to Lopez Obrador on December 1.

That would pave the way for tariff-free access to the Canadian market by the much larger American dairy and poultry market. "I think it's very good for Canada if they do", said Donald Trump.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on why Canada should take part in the trade deal between the USA and Mexico.

"Whether or not Canada agrees with the concept of a NAFTA reboot, we suspect it does little to benefit the loonie", he wrote on Tuesday. Canada wants to keep the chapter strong, while Americans insist that it undermines USA sovereignty and negotiating capabilities.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Larry Kudlow, the director of the president's National Economic Council, said in separate television appearances on Tuesday that concessions from Canada on dairy are essential to getting a three-way deal by then. "And farmers were really at the top of my list, because I think they've been treated very unfairly for many years - including by NAFTA - but very unfairly for many years, because they have barriers", Trump said. Trump himself has avoided directly calling for the dismantling of supply management during his frequent attacks on Canadian dairy, including during Monday's announcement with Mexico.

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