More hints of United States trade détente with Canada, EU

More hints of United States trade détente with Canada, EU

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.

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.

She said the talks were at a point where discussing them face-to-face with the prime minister "is absolutely essential".

After her stop in Washington, Freeland is due to attend this week's meetings of the governing Liberal Party of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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. President Donald Trump has notified Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico, with Canada welcome to join the deal "if it is willing", the White House said Friday.

Tensions are high between Canada and our neighbours to the south.

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having and put into historical significance the relationship between Canada and the United States", Freeland said.

"We sent them (the officials) a number of issues to work on and they will report back to us in the morning, and we will then continue our negotiations", Freeland told reporters on leaving the U.S. Trade Representative's office in Washington on Wednesday. "Nafta has been the worst trade deal ever".

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expected Canada to also scrap a two-year-old pricing agreement that has restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products.

"And one of the things that I think we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for Canadian and USA workers in the auto sector".

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa following an event at the Library and Archives, Brian Mulroney said he would be "surprised" if a new NAFTA deal did not see some concessions around supply management.

"I think it is good for him in the short term".

"The conversations over the weekend continued to be constructive and productive", she said.

"Without Chapter 19, NAFTA is utterly useless as it would subject Canada and Mexico to the vagaries of the USA political system and its courts when determining trade policy actions", said Derek Holt, vice-president at Scotiabank Economics, in a note recently. "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.

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

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