Canada welcomes Trump's 'flexible' timetable for NAFTA deal

13 January, 2018, 03:57 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Canada talks tough with free trade talks looming

Authorities said that in considering the mockups - built by six companies from across the United States - they will evaluate a number of characteristics including anti-breaching, anti-climbing and anti-digging capabilities. She added that Canada is prepared to spend as much time as it takes to get a good deal.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the biggest problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement "comes from the North", with Canadian dairy producers dumping low-priced products on the market to compete with Wisconsin farms.

The U.S. demand to scrap the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism remains non-negotiable for the Canadian side, but there is the possibility for reform of the Chapter 11 investor-state settlement terms.

Guajardo was in Washington for talks this week with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the modernisation of NAFTA, according to a statement by Mexico's Economy Ministry.

Citing government sources, Reuters this week reported that Canadian officials - who are set to resume renegotiation talks this month - are growing increasingly concerned that the USA plans to withdraw from the 24-year-old agreement.

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But taking a tough stand is an approach the Americans can appreciate, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne argued Thursday.

"I understand that a lot of things are hard to negotiate prior to an election", he said.

He added: "This is sending a message and I think it's important that we're going to be there to defend, obviously, our workers".

The Bank of Canada (BoC) Business survey released this week showed that Canadian companies are not suffering extra anxiety in their outlook due to their trade agreement, but as evidenced today the market does not share that optimism.

"When it comes to the more unconventional USA proposals, we have been doing some creative thinking", she said.

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Canadian officials who spoke on condition they not be identified declined to say whether the chances of Trump saying he will quit the pact are greater than 50 per cent.

While the USA has been clear there was a possibility it would withdraw from the agreement, Canadian officials believe a positive outcome is possible "if there is goodwill on all sides", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters Thursday.

"When it comes to the more unconventional USA proposals, we have been doing some creative thinking, we've been talking with Canadian stakeholders and we have some new ideas that we look forward to talking with our USA and Mexican counterparts about in Montreal".

She said Canada had always taken the position that it's not helpful to impose artificial deadlines on the talks, such as the current schedule of rounds set to end in March.

The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of major currencies but made a partial recovery after the Labor Department said its consumer price index, excluding the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3 percent last month, the biggest advance since January 2017.

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