Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Canada presses USA to resume NAFTA renegotiation talks

Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House in Washington Canada's retaliatory tariffs on over 60 U.S. imports come into effect Sunday
Russell Knight | 06 July, 2018, 02:34

"Given the current political climate, I don't think it would be appropriate", Fraser said in an emailed statement. "In terms of labour standards and raising wages, I think [he is] going to be much open to that than the outgoing administration, which had a lot of ties to the big business sector".

"Canada and Mexico are close friends and longtime partners".

The effort to restart stalled negotiations comes after the election of leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as president.

Trudeau has insisted the US president's complaints about Canada's trade barriers are the result of Canada's refusal to give in to Trump's demands to do away with the country's supply-management system, which is created to protect dairy, poultry and egg producers.

Trump says in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday that he could quickly sign an agreement with Mexico and Canada, "but I'm not happy with it". "Make no mistake about it".

As part of his combative America First approach, Trump has repeatedly attacked the trade policies of the United States' northern neighbour, citing Canada's triple-digit tariffs on dairy products, which account for only about 0.1 per cent of U.S.

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Year-on-year, the value of total United States trade with Canada was up 10.9% to $52.18bn, while USA trade with Mexico was valued at $50.52bn in April, up 14.8% from April last year. Asked about the timing of an agreement, Trump said: "I want to wait until after the election".

But with Trump's inflammatory rhetoric, Canada's retaliatory tariffs against the USA and a leftist, anti-establishment Mexican president about to join the fray, there are some who believe any North American Free Trade Agreement talks may be in long-term limbo.

Trump has clashed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade, with the US president tweeting last month after departing the G-7 meetings in Quebec that Trudeau was "weak" and "dishonest".

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country's largest business group, launched a national campaign on Monday to oppose tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on its allies.

Trump had enraged Canada and other USA allies by declaring imported steel and aluminum a threat to America's national security and therefore a legitimate target for US tariffs.

"There are a handful of people who have decided to make this a comment on the Canada-U.S. relationship and that's fair", she said.

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