Canada’s Freeland returns to Washington for NAFTA talks

Gold catches late NY bid on NAFTA headlines, but . . .

Gold catches late NY bid on NAFTA headlines, but . . .

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to push ahead with a bilateral deal with Mexico, effectively killing the nearly 25-year-old three-country NAFTA pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the NAFTA discussions said an agreement is within reach - but they stressed that getting there will require flexibility from all sides.

But Wiens said concessions made in Canada's CP-TPP free-trade deal with Pacific nations and the CETA agreement with Europe have already forced his members to give up an extra five per cent of the market - a $250 million loss.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned, however, that potential USA auto tariffs could be "devastating" for industry in both countries. Trump, who has frequently threatened to walk away from the pact, is now threatening tariffs on auto imports.

"If they want to manage the supply, we are simply saying manage your supply for your dairy industry and let's be done with it".

"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the USA doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

USA officials say time is running out to reach a deal that the current Congress can vote on.

Canada has reportedly offered to make concessions to its protected dairy industry, which has come under repeated attack from Trump, in an effort to retain Chapter 19.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer takes part in a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico March 5, 2018.

"I think that remembering today, and what happened today, maybe that helps us all to put into perspective the negotiations that we're having", Freeland told reporters, noting the "importance and significance" of US-Canadian ties.


A late day comment from Pres. Trump boosted the precious metal and the Canadian dollar where he said "Trade talks going well".

"We're neighbours and neighbours help each other when they need help".

As a result of what Freeland described as their "hard work", officials decided it would be best to hold a meeting.

"The atmosphere is absolutely professional", she said.

Officials say the main sticking points are Canada's dairy quota regime, Ottawa's desire to keep a dispute resolution mechanism, and Canadian media laws that favour domestically produced content.

"We're negotiating all this at once".

Talks were expected to resume this week between the two.

He added that the Office of the United States Trade Representative wants to wrap up talks with Canada quickly.

After her stop in Washington, Freeland is due to attend this week's meetings of the governing Liberal Party of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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