Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week

NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week

The governing Liberal Party is holding its caucus retreat in Saskatoon on Wednesday and Thursday and it's not known whether Ms. Freeland will pause negotiations after Tuesday to head to the caucus meeting.

However, no specifics on the progress made towards reaching an agreement have been announced.

Canada and the USA are trying to finalize a text that could be submitted to Congress by the end of the month to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expected Canada to also scrap a two-year-old pricing agreement that has restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products.

Austen, asked whether Freeland might return to Washington later in the week, said no decisions had been taken.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from US President Donald Trump, has unanimous domestic support for now but to keep a firm hold on power must wring concessions from an unwilling powerful dairy lobby in order to mollify Washington.

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.

A trade war, and the resulting massive job losses, would be a political failure for the 46-year-old prime minister who came to power in late 2015 promising to improve ties with Washington. Couric continued: "I'm trying to make a little news here people".

Former UN chief Kofi Annan laid to rest in Ghana
His coffin, draped in Ghanaian national colors, has since laid in state for public viewing ahead of the burial on Thursday. She expressed sadness at his passing but praised the late diplomat for his huge service to humanity.

"We're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win, win, win that we know is there".

Lighthizer spent Monday in Brussels for trade discussions with the European Union - preliminary talks that are scheduled to resume later this fall.

Although issues related to autos, such as the USA push to boost North American content in vehicles, have been a major part of the negotiations, other issues, particularly a desire for more US access to Canada's dairy market and Canadian insistence on maintaining NAFTA's dispute resolution system, are believed to be some of the major remaining sticking points.

After emerging from her meeting with Lighthizer on Friday, Freeland said the negotiations had entered a "very intense" phase, during which officials have been meeting "24-7". She said she spoke with Lighthizer over the weekend and they agreed it would be useful for them to meet again face to face.

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

A couple of weeks ago the White House announced a new NAFTA deal between the USA and Mexico, which they sent up to Congress for possible consideration.

"Without Chapter 19, NAFTA is utterly useless as it would subject Canada and Mexico to the vagaries of the USA political system and its courts when determining trade policy actions", said Derek Holt, vice-president at Scotiabank Economics, in a note recently.

He told reporters in Winnipeg on Tuesday, "We are better off having no NAFTA than a bad deal for Canada".

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