Sask. trade minister "concerned" over NAFTA talks

01 September, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Frank Williams
  • Trump announces 'incredible' trade deal with Mexico

The deal would require 75 percent of auto content to be made in the NAFTA region, up from the current level of 62.5 percent, a US trade official said.

"Notwithstanding President Trump's indication that he might finalize a new deal without Canada, a trilateral deal still seems more likely, in our view, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill may deem it essential", ClearView analysts said.

The trade deal with Mexico could pave the way for a revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland interrupted a trip to Europe to rush back to Washington to begin talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

She credited the Mexicans for their hard decision to compromise on labour and wages as part of its auto rules-of-origin talks with the USA, saying it has cleared the way for more substantive talks between Washington and Ottawa.

He said he has "bluntly conveyed" for many months concerns over Canada's handling of the trade file, but also saying, "We have been working with the federal government and attempting to be fully supportive".

"For free-trade economists that might be a black eye, but for the United States and Trump it must surely be seen as a major victory and validation of his extraordinary strong-arm tactics".

What if Canada finds major problems in the deal and doesn't want to sign? But "no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal". The timeline accommodates a 90-day waiting period under USA trade law before President Donald Trump can sign the pact.

The head of Saputo Inc., Canada's largest dairy processor, told The Canadian Press in June that the NAFTA dairy impasse with Trump can be resolved if Canada ends Class 7. The report said it's part of the effort to save an important NAFTA dispute-settlement system, maintain safeguards for cultural industries and avert tougher pharmaceutical patent protections.

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The White House plans to notify Congress on Friday of its intention to enter into a new free trade agreement, to provide the required 90 days' notice that would allow NAFTA 2.0 to be signed by December 1, when Mexico will install a new president. "And we gave 'till Friday and I think we're probably on track".

But Canada is a dominant exporter of crude oil to the United States: It accounts for 47 percent of the barrels imported to the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. side favours a narrow timeframe for these latest trade talks, pushing for a deal by Friday.

John Kran is with the Michigan Farm Bureau, and he says they're excited that it looks like President Donald Trump has reached a trade agreement with Mexico.

Freeland said officials will delve deeply into specific issues Wednesday. Trudeau has said that Canada's not going to be pushed around by the United States.

Freeland said Canada was "extremely involved" in the progress that was made between the US and Mexico over the summer. The U.S. -Mexico agreement stipulates a 16-year NAFTA that would be reviewed and possibly extended every six years.

Indeed, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a June visit to Prince Edward Island that "it's not our desire to do away with" Canadian supply management.

The Trudeau government has repeatedly pledged to protect dairy farmers, but Canada has opened up limited access to its dairy market in previous trade talks, including its comprehensive pact with the European Union. If Republicans retain 51 of the Senate's 100 seats in November elections, they could approve a new NAFTA agreement next year without the support of Democrats.


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