NAFTA deal by Friday is ‘doable,’ Canadian official says

NAFTA deal by Friday is ‘doable,’ Canadian official says

NAFTA deal by Friday is ‘doable,’ Canadian official says

Freeland cancelled her trip to Europe this week to return to the NAFTA bargaining table after the USA and Mexico agreed on numerous trade issues throughout their bilateral, summertime talks.

Trump also threatened Canada that if it can't reach a new trade deal, then he will slap it with devastating tariffs on automotive imports. "It's a must-have", said Welles Orr, a senior worldwide trade adviser at Miller and Chevalier, and a former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative.

Freeland, who later met with Mexican officials on Tuesday evening, said she is due to dig into detailed discussions with Lighthizer on Wednesday.

"Given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the USA and Mexico, Minister Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations", her spokesman said.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland is in Washington to oversee an "intensive week" of trilateral talks that could lead to an agreement for all three countries as early as this week.

Following another face-to-face meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Freeland said she remains "optimistic" the sides can bridge their differences by Friday.

And Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for a three-way trade deal, saying "it's important that Canada also be included".

"I said from the very beginning that no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal" said Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau has previously said he could not sign a deal that has an expiry date on it, but that was when the U.S. But that doesn't do anything to clear up the other sticking points that have clogged NAFTA talks for more than a year, notably including Trump's longstanding demand for better access to Canada for US dairy exports.

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, which Mexico will install a new president. "We gave till Friday, and I think we're probably on track".

"Ultimately, we've got huge issues that are still to be resolved", said Jerry Dias, head of Canada's influential Unifor labour union.

Will she be presiding over the death of the 24-year-old continental trade pact?

The administration wants Congress to approve at least $25 billion to build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.

Despite some contentious issues still on the table, the increasingly positive tone contrasted with U.S. President Donald Trump's harsh criticism of Canada in recent weeks, raising hopes that the year-long talks will conclude soon with a trilateral agreement.

Trump was meeting with the president of FIFA Tuesday when he said his stalled wall "will be paid for, very easily, by Mexico". Supply management is considered sacrosanct in Quebec and Ontario - Canada's two largest provinces, which mark the path to power for all political parties. The U.S. -Mexico agreement stipulates a 16-year NAFTA that would be reviewed and possibly extended every six years. "Mexico reserves the right to reform its energy laws, and it's laid down in writing that Mexico's oil and natural resources belong to the nation", he said.

A key element of the US-Mexico talks has been content requirements for autos, which Mexico agreed to increase to 75 percent from North America to get duty free NAFTA treatment.

Trump was quick to proclaim the agreement a triumph, pointing to Monday's surge in the stock market, which was fueled in part by the apparent breakthrough with Mexico.

Related news