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Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks in Washington on Tuesday

14 September 2018
Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks in Washington on Tuesday

Canada's Chrystia Freeland said of the negotiations that: "It's going to take flexibility on all sides".

The U.S. and Mexico worked out a preliminary agreement last month, but Canada has yet to agree to the terms presented by the u-s.

Graves, the president of Unifor Local 88, which represents about 2,800 workers at the General Motors CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, said NAFTA negotiations, tariffs on steel and aluminum and the ability of GM plants in Mexico to produce the same vehicle as his plant - the popular Chevrolet Equinox SUV - are a worry.

However, there are questions over the value of a trade deal without the key resolution mechanism.

The in-person, high-level negotiations got back underway as events marking the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks took place around the USA, including at the Pentagon with Vice President Mike Pence, not far from where the trade meetings are taking place. "There (just) seems to be a wild card on there".

To the south, Trump's agriculture secretary suggested deeper concessions would be coming from the Canadians over Canada's system of managing supply and prices in the dairy sector.

"It can't be renamed something or called something else", Perdue said when asked about dairy concessions needed to reach a NAFTA deal, referring to a new milk class created previous year by Canada to price milk ingredients such as protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder.

What's at stake is huge for both the US and Canada.

Canada, he added, has already opened up its dairy market via concessions included in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement with the Asia Pacific and the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.

Former federal Canadian trade official Matthew Kronby said the reported American demands indicate to him that the White House doesn't really want to strike a deal with Canada.

Freeland spent three days in Washington last week and said on Friday as she prepared to leave that she and Lighthizer were making very good progress in some areas, although a deal remained out of reach. Canada and the U.S.

Daniel Ujczo, a US trade lawyer who has worked for both the Canadian and the USA governments, rejects the notion that Canada and the United States are at a stalemate.

Trump has raised pressure on Ottawa, threatening to impose duties on Canadian auto imports, which Trudeau said would be "devastating" for the Canadian auto sector.

Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal without Canada. "The average part that goes into the Pacifica in final assembly crosses the border six times", Dilkens said.

Mr. Ujczo said he doesn't believe Mr. Trump feels strongly about Chapter 19. It also wants significant new access to Canada's sheltered dairy industry and seeks the relaxing of foreign ownership restrictions on Canadian media companies.

How negotiations play out will determine the fate of numerous jobs and hundreds of billions in trade between the two nations. That second level is what the public is witnessing.

"Do I think there will be some kind of agreement?"

Representatives from both sides have expressed their preference to keep a NAFTA deal intact. "They've got their full teams engaged on this, and I feel positive they can get to an agreement".

President Trump has voiced his willingness to create a separate deal than the one made with Mexico.

People close to the prime minister reject the suggestion he misread Trump and cite what they say is the president's highly unpredictable nature. "He's railed against this thing (NAFTA) and they've been at the negotiating table for now over a year".