While speaking at a rally in Montana, U.S. President Donald Trump told crowds of fans that NAFTA has been replaced with the U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal.
“We’re going to make a fairer deal with Canada,” the president said. “Just like we did with Mexico.”
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The president attended the rally on the heels of tense trade talks between Mexican and Canadian counterparts. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland resumed NAFTA negotiations with her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, this past Wednesday.
She said the parties are “making progress.”
As she departed the office of the U.S. Trade Representative on her way to the Canadian Embassy, Freeland gave no indication that the parties were any closer to reaching a deal.
She instead reiterated that she and her colleagues believe “a deal which is good for Canada, good for the United States and good for Mexico is possible.”
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Despite the seeming uncertainty displayed by negotiators, Trump said to a room full of applause that “America is tired of getting ripped off.”
“We’re giving our workers and businesses a level playing field,” he said.
Trump has threatened to move ahead on a deal that excludes Canada, but he also needs a win on trade ahead of midterm elections in November that will test his ability to keep control of Congress.
Canada and the U.S. need to present an unified text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal that the Trump administration signed with Mexico.
The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.
The goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so that Congress can approve to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.
–With files from the Canadian Press.