Mulroney urges Ottawa to make a deal on NAFTA

14 September, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Sainte-Marie-Madelaine Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Ryan Remiorz

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland returns to Washington for another round of NAFTA talks with the United States Tuesday despite an apparent deadlock between the two countries over Canada's insistence on preserving a key dispute-resolution chapter of the accord.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said just last week that the process was needed, because Trump "doesn't always follow the rules."

Trudeau and his ministers will hold a caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to plot their strategy.

U.S. 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 $1.2 trillion in trade.

Brian Mulroney says Canada needs to put a little more water in its milk if it expects to make a new NAFTA deal with a hard-bargaining US president whose political fortunes depend heavily on being able to declare victory for American dairy farmers. He said Canada and the United States spent a lot of time last week reconciling what the US and Mexico had already agreed upon.

"President, I recommend we accept this deal with Canada; it's not ideal, but it's a good deal, ' then I think he takes it,"' Mulroney said.

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.

Uncertainly over the future of NAFTA, which underpins $1.2 trillion in trade, is weighing on markets as well as the Canadian and Mexican currencies.

After emerging from her meeting with Lighthizer on Friday, Freeland said the negotiations had entered a "very intense" phase, during which officials have been meeting "24-7".

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The trade ministers are set to meet again at the end of the month.

Speaking on C-SPAN, Perdue said USA farmers don't have the same access to Canada that Canada has to the US, specifically referring the Class 7 dairy products in Canada. Under U.S. trade negotiating laws, a text for that agreement is due by October 1.

His announcement came with an ultimatum for Canada - join the U.S. -Mexico pact or suffer the consequences of punishing American tariffs on the auto sector.

"I don't think President Trump will go to the mat over Chapter 19".

He added that the Office of the United States Trade Representative wants to wrap up talks with Canada quickly. "I can't read the tea leaves, but. coming back and saying, "Sorry, we couldn't get an agreement" is just too hard politically to manage" on both sides, Sosnow said.

US President Donald Trump also said the talks, which both countries intensified in recent weeks, were coming along well.

"And the word that continues to block the deal is m-i-l-k, OK?", Kudlow said during an appearance last week on "Varney & Co.", a Fox Business Network show.

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

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