NAFTA talks to resume in afternoon after Canada cites 'goodwill'

Canada's top NAFTA negotiator Chrystia Freeland, the foreign affairs minister, will return to Washington on Wednesday for a second week of talks over staying in a revamped pact.

Freeland insisted that the latest round of talks is being conducted in in "good faith". "But one of the things that we know is that once you've gone and divided citizens into small groups.it actually hurts you capacity to govern for the good of all", said Trudeau. "We continue to get a deeper and deeper understanding of the concerns on both sides". But Ottawa seems determined not to back down on key issues.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the US president's aversion to following rules is a key reason Canada can't budge on a dispute settlement provision in a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.

"We'll walk away and not sign a bad deal for Canadians", he vowed.

But the issue has been overshadowed by higher-profile obstacles, such as USA access to Canada's dairy market, dispute-settlement mechanisms and the proposal that NAFTA 2.0 contain a sunset clause. The chapter allows companies to have their differences settled by independent arbiters - something Trump views as an infringement of USA sovereignty.

The Bank of Canada said Wednesday that the economy has seen improvements in business investment and exports despite persistent uncertainty about NAFTA and other trade policy developments. He said they've come a long way with Canada and now he thinks "they will treat us fairly". "He made some important comments".

Mexico is also taking on a leadership role in the Alliance of the Pacific, a grouping of Latin American countries linked by free markets, while Canada past year struck a comprehensive trade deal with the European Union.

Trump's frustration spilled into the open over the weekend as he railed against Canada on Twitter - as well as its many supporters in both political parties.

Trump has already imposed hefty tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, using a section of USA trade law that gives him executive authority to do that in the name of national security.

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In an attempt to gain leverage over the government of Justin Trudeau, the president has threatened to leave Canada out of the revised NAFTA and proceed with Mexico alone.

"We are witnessing American divide and conquer, might-is-right tactics at their very worst", Derek Burney, a former Canadian trade negotiator, wrote in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Part of the disagreement on culture revolves around Canada's decision to allow the broadcast of glitzy American Super Bowl commercials, a decision that irks Lighthizer.

Trump also has repeatedly complained about Canada's dairy management program, which uses 270 percent tariffs to impede imports, threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian auto exports unless Ottawa grants the United States unfettered market access.

The new rules went into effect in time for the Super Bowl in February 2017.

Canada also wants to maintain exemptions for cultural sector, with Trudeau saying on Tuesday that the exemption "must stand" because, for instance, he wouldn't want to see Canadian TV networks swallowed up.

Canada and the U.S. need to present a text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico last week.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to push ahead with a bilateral deal with Mexico, effectively killing the nearly 25-year-old three-country Nafta pact, which covers US$1.2 trillion in trade.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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