Optimism mounts for an imminent NAFTA deal

Optimism mounts for an imminent NAFTA deal

Optimism mounts for an imminent NAFTA deal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the United States is finding NAFTA talks tough because Canadians are tough negotiators.

Several Democrats questioned whether the Trump administration has the legal authority to proceed with a Mexico-only deal when prior notifications under the "fast-track" trade negotiating authority law were for a trilateral deal including both Mexico and Canada.

Political deadlines are often fuzzy but Canada and the United States appear to be working towards some major compromises and a NAFTA deal.

The U.S. and Mexico reached their agreement in August, triggering talks between the U.S. and Canada, which are being held around the clock this weekend.

Failure to reach a deal raises the prospect of what some call a zombie Nafta - a bilateral deal advancing to update a trilateral pact, even while the old agreement remains in place.

So-called Chapter 19 dispute panels, which the USA wants to eliminate from Nafta and which Canada wants to preserveAn exemption for cultural sectors which Canada wants to preserveThe use of Section 232 investigations to apply tariffs to steel, aluminum, and potentially autos. He has repeatedly said he is ready to walk away from the talks rather than sign a document he thinks is bad. Sources with direct knowledge of the talks told CBC News that David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US, had flown to Ottawa to be part of the concentrated Canadian effort.

According to a readout of the call from the Prime Minister's Office, the two men "agreed to work closely together to further strengthen the dynamic partnership between Canada and Mexico", and "discussed NAFTA and the mutually beneficial economic and trading relationship between our two countries".

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U.S. and Canadian negotiators were expected to work all weekend via secure video link, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported Saturday, citing sources in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration and on the United States industry side. "In any case, we already agreed with the USA and we won't revise what is agreed". "We don't like their representative very much".

They haven't said why, but it's likely to let Freeland focus on efforts to get Canada into a trilateral NAFTA deal with the USA and Mexico, which sources say have intensified this week in the face of Monday's congressional deadline.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House adviser Jared Kushner planned to brief Trump on Sunday on the talks, said a U.S. source familiar with the discussions. "But a good fair deal is still very possible".

Trudeau's "tariffs are too high, and he doesn't seem to want to move, and I've told him forget about it, and frankly, we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada", Trump said.

"I'm hopeful Canada stays at the table - there's strong support for three countries seamlessly working together", Brady said on Friday.

On top of that, Canada's 270 per cent tariffs on dairy products that exceed the established quota have long left a sour taste in the president's mouth. But at the end of the day, this president is not going to take a deal that's not good for this country.

A Trump administration official and congressional aides said the U.S. -Mexico text was due for release on Friday, but a USTR spokesman declined to comment on timing.

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