China trade talks are not top priority, says US Treasury Secretary

01 September, 2018, 19:23 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • 4 takeaways from the U.S.-Mexico trade deal

The United States and Mexico agreed on Monday to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), putting pressure on Canada to agree to new terms on auto trade and dispute settlement rules to remain part of the three-nation pact.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, emerging Wednesday evening from her second meeting of the day with her US counterpart, said officials would be working late into the night - and possibly all night - on potential "landing zones" where both parties can agree.

"Given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the US and Mexico, Minister Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations", her spokesman said.

Both countries have expressed a willingness to now include Canada, but U.S. President Donald Trump suggested a Friday deadline.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch group pours almost M into ads to boost three GOP Senate candidates Gillum wins stunner and other takeaways from Arizona, Florida McSally prevails in nasty Arizona GOP Senate primary MORE spoke about the negotiations in similarly tempered tones on Tuesday.

The president is critical of Canada's lopsided treatment of the USA, especially with the northern nation's tariffs on dairy products that be almost 300 percent. "We've been, "Oh, at the eleventh hour something critical is going to happen on the NAFTA" and (then) it's like, "Oh no, not so much" and it goes back and resembles a normal trade negotiation".

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Lighthizer told reporters in a call that the agreement with Mexico provided the "highest standards" of any existing agreement on digital trade, financial services and labor rights.

"We're pushing hard to conclude an agreement that is win, win, win - a modern and progressive agreement that is in line with our values and our ambitions and that will benefit not only Canadian businesses but all Canadians", he said.

The United States and Mexico have reached a trade agreement that is more than a handshake deal but not quite a treaty.

The NAFTA renegotiations had dragged on for a year before the tentative agreement with Mexico was announced Monday.

He said Mexico and the United States negotiating without Canada present "without question has an impact on the leverage that we would have in the context of a further discussion" around NAFTA.

Sklar couched that by noting this is a tentative agreement without reference to Canada.

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"It will either be a tariff on cars, or it will be a negotiated deal; and frankly a tariff on cars is a much easier way to go, but perhaps the other would be much better for Canada".

Anderson said it showed the US had also made concessions during negotiations.

Trump said he still could put tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Canada did not join its neighbors and warned he expected concessions on Canada's dairy protections. "We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class". "Either we're going to be trading partners or we're going to fight". "And we gave 'till Friday and I think we're probably on track". Therefore, it seems to me that Trump has moved hastily to finish these talks because of not wanting to have to speak to another leader.

But Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland cut a trip to Europe short so that she could rejoin the talks in Washington Wednesday.

The White House is pushing to finalize things quickly so that outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto can sign the treaty before handing the reins over to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on December 1. What's the rollback in the other areas, and what does Mexico think they agreed to?

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