Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Anniversary of deadly 9/11 attacks gives ‘perspective’ as NAFTA talks resume: Freeland

Rep. Tom Reed attends a committee hearing on in the Longworth Building in Washington D.C. on Feb. 14 2018 Tom Williams via Getty Images Rep. Tom Reed attends a committee hearing on in the Longworth Building in Washington D.C. on Feb. 14 2018
Laurie Berry | 14 September, 2018, 13:24

The two sides have so far been unable to resolve their differences over USA access to the Canadian dairy market, a cultural exemption for Canada and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Canada expanded foreign access to its dairy sector in trade deals with the European Union and with 10 Pacific Rim countries.

Ottawa and Washington are trying to reach an agreement that could be submitted to the U.S. Congress by month's end. The Pacific trade pact provided those countries with access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's market, and expectations are the USA won't go any lower.

With so much uncertainty, Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have regularly been dogged by questions about the fate of NAFTA.

When asked about Kudlow's comments, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said bluntly: "He's not at the negotiating table".

It is unclear how long the current round of talks will go on in Washington.

President Donald Trump warned Friday that he would impose 20-per-cent tariffs on auto imports from Canada if it does not agree to a "fair" deal, a move he said would bring "ruination" here. "The ruination of the country", Trump said at an event in North Dakota. While China/US tensions have seemed to support the dollar, with the US seeing as to have the upper hand, NAFTA progress should be CAD and commodities which would ultimately weigh on the greenback and potentially lift the price of gold - well, at least that is what we have seen in the late hours of US trade.

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"Prime Minister Trudeau is right in that no deal - and waiting for more reason in future - is better than permanently signing onto a feature that guts NAFTA", Holt said.

On Monday, Trudeau provided little information when asked by prominent US journalist Katie Couric for an update on the negotiations during an on-stage interview. But as an October 1 deadline to renegotiate NAFTA looms, Canada is prepared to offer similar concessions on the dairy industry to those that it agreed to in free trade deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations, the sources said.

Trudeau has been signalling in recent days that Canada might be prepared to show some flexibility there.

The officials have held two weeks of talks but ended Friday afternoon without reaching an agreement that would keep Canada in the three-nation pact.

Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue meeting with her USA counterpart.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that's not who we are", Craft told the gathered crowd as she thanked Canada - and Gander - for playing host in 2001 to countless stranded American air passengers. "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior worldwide trade adviser for a Washington law firm. "It would be a good modernized deal if Canada is brought into it".

Discussions weren't expected to get going again until the end of the week. Canadian officials had said previously that they are working on the assumption that they have until the end of September to make a deal.

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