Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Back for more NAFTA talks

Back for more NAFTA talks Back for more NAFTA talks
Russell Knight | 14 September, 2018, 00:41

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

It seems nearly a given now that any trade deal Canada strikes with the United States will have to offer up more American access to the Canadian dairy market.

"So if we don't find some way to accommodate some of that, then we're not going to have a deal".

Canada must end its low-price milk proteins policy to reach a US-Canadian deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

"I think we understand there are certain issues on which we will need to compromise", one of the sources said when asked about increased dairy access for the USA industry.

Over the weekend, negotiators continued working to try to hammer out a deal.

So far, Canada has been unable to obtain a guarantee from the United States that Canadians would not be hit with punitive USA auto tariffs if Ottawa agrees to a new NAFTA deal with Washington.

Freeland will head back to Canada for government business and to report to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau what transpired during the day's talks and where the negotiations stand.

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Canada's closed, $16 billion dairy market is among the last sticking points in talks between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, which broke up on Friday without a deal.

"We will be travelling to Washington ... to continue the NAFTA negotiations", Ms. Freeland told reporters at the Women in the World event in Toronto, without commenting further on the state of the trade talks. A political deadline in Mexico to sign the deal by December 1, plus requirements in American law have put pressure on Canada to join the pact by the end of this month at the latest. Eares are on the ground for U.S. and China developments but at the fore again was the NAFTA negotiations.

Earlier in the day, she noted that Tuesday was the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks to drive home a point about the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

The announcement by the USA trade representative comes one week earlier than previously indicated.

"We have been very clear on that, that there can not be more access given", Wiens said in a telephone interview.

USA farmers complain Canada is flooding export markets. Freeland spent a day in Washington last week and said she and Lighthizer were making very good progress in some areas, although a deal remained out of reach. 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.

"If (Trump) goes to Congress with a bilateral arrangement with Mexico, he's got problems - real problems", Mulroney said.

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