Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Canada and Trump administration at impasse — NAFTA negotiations

Canada and Trump administration at impasse — NAFTA negotiations

If no deal is made, United States tariffs on Canada's auto sector - one of its largest industrial sectors - could quickly be put in place, the same source said, though a Canadian official insisted that Washington had made no new threats on tariffs.

Two Ottawa sources directly familiar with the talks said a deal could be very close but stressed some challenging matters had yet to be solved.

US President Donald Trump has been seeking to renegotiate the United States' trade agreements with other countries, including the NAFTA deal, since his election campaign in 2016. A spokesman for USTR did not respond to requests for comment on the talks.

The remarks by Trump, who repeated a threat to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, knocked the Canadian dollar down to a one-week low against the USA greenback.

Freeland, the minister for foreign affairs, was scheduled to represent Canada at the United Nations general debate on Saturday afternoon. He said, "Yeah, I did". "In any case, we already agreed with the USA and we won't revise what is agreed".

"We've said all along this has to be a three-way deal", said Rufus Yerxa, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents multinational corporations.

"There's just a lot going on, and not a lot of time to do it in". Would it be limits to USA takeover of Canadian companies?

On Capitol Hill, senior Republicans such as Sen. Ujczo put the odds of a deal this weekend at 75 percent.

He said he had been informed Friday that there was a counter-proposal from the United States.

But talks to incorporate Canada have stumbled over issues including the protected Canadian dairy industry and a provision for settling trade disputes.

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As negotiations have dragged, the president has become visibly annoyed with Canadian officials.

Despite the fact it's one of Trump's favourite talking points, the politically sensitive question of greater USA access to Canada's dairy market is also no longer a hurdle, say sources familiar with the talks.

"Everybody's negotiating in good faith right now as we speak. We think their negotiators have taken advantage of our country for a long time".

Lopez Obrador said he had spoken by phone Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who told him his government's talks with Washington were "difficult". They only said they didn't request a formal meeting.

Auto tariffs would substantially impact Canada, a major auto exporter. Washington already has a deal with Mexico, the third member of NAFTA.

Mexico also secured an exemption from U.S.

The Trump administration has said the text of an agreement between the three nations is needed by Sunday to allow the current Mexican government to sign it before it leaves office at the end of November.

Lighthizer has praised the U.S. -Mexico deal as likely to reduce the $71 billion trade deficit with Mexico.

A Trump administration official said the text of the agreement with Mexico was set to be published on Friday. It would also require automakers to use more local steel and other materials in their vehicles and establish a separate mandate for production in factories paying an hourly wage of at least $16, which will boost output in the US and Canada.

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