NAFTA negotiations grind on as Trump threatens to move ahead without Canada
Canadian and American negotiators resume their talks Friday on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The talks continue after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s late night, 20-minute meeting with her U.S. counterpart, trade czar Robert Lighthizer on Thursday.
Freeland called that meeting constructive along with the earlier two-hour session with Lighthizer at his office near the White House.
Freeland offered few details, sticking to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public — an agreement struck with Lighthizer as an act of good faith.
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The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.
Canada and the U.S. need to present an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration has signed with Mexico.
U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening 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.
Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traded barbs Wednesday, with each saying they were willing to walk away from NAFTA if they don’t get what they want.
The goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.
© 2018 The Canadian Press