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Bill Kelly: Dispute resolution is the deal-breaker in NAFTA negotiations

Click to play video: 'Freeland on NAFTA talks: Canada, U.S. need fresh ideas'
Freeland on NAFTA talks: Canada, U.S. need fresh ideas
Canada and the U.S. are still negotiating and trying to reach a NAFTA deal. But our country's top negotiator, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, may not have been helped by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's newest comments. Mercedes Stephenson reports from Washington – Sep 5, 2018

Beyond the daily dose of bombast from Donald Trump, it appears that Canada and the United States are a lot closer to a NAFTA deal than the tweeter-in-chief would have us believe.

While many media reports suggest that Canada’s protectionist supply management system is the stumbling block, the real issue seems to be the dispute resolution process, and for Canada, it could be a deal-breaker.

WATCH: Trump calls NAFTA talks ‘intense negotiations’

Click to play video: 'Trump calls NAFTA talks ‘intense negotiations’'
Trump calls NAFTA talks ‘intense negotiations’

The current method for solving complaints is a panel of judges from all three countries that would rule on disputes, and it seems to have worked well for many years.

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But Trump wants future trade disputes settled by American judges only; that’s pretty rich considering that the majority of grievances are against the United States.

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Canada and Mexico have already made concessions in the auto sector and Canada has signalled that they’re willing to modify the supply management policy to allow more tariff-free American dairy products across the border. So, if the Americans agree to drop their ridiculous idea of adjudicating all trade disputes, and rescind those wrongheaded steel and aluminum tariffs, there’s a good chance that they could hammer out a deal by the end of the week.

Here’s hoping that the adults at the negotiation table can ignore the petulant man-child in the White House and make this happen.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML

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