Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations


The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, center, speaks to reporters in Washington D.C., recently.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland after a meeting with Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City, Mexico July 25, 2018.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned, however, that potential USA auto tariffs could be "devastating" for industry in both countries. "The ruination of the country", Trump said at an event in North Dakota.

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 North American trade, is weighing on markets as well as the Canadian and Mexican currencies.

Wiens declined to say what action the organization would take if an updated NAFTA deal gave the US a greater chunk of the Canadian market, but did not rule out campaigning against ratification of the agreement, or the Liberal government.

"It allowed them to export milk solids on the world market and below prices that cut into our opportunity for our dairy people to have access to that world market", Perdue said.

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The idea of throwing NAFTA out all together is, in my view, ludicrous, as industry on both sides of the border will not stand for it and Congress will not support it.

It was not clear when talks would resume on Thursday, and there were no immediate indications what progress may have been made in Wednesday's late session among staff. "I can - all I have to do is tax cars - it would be devastating".

Canada's protected dairy industry is one of three sticking points in NAFTA talks between the two countries, along with a system for settling trade disputes and cultural protections for Canadian media firms. That second level is what the public is witnessing.

"Even if we gave him everything he wanted - and there is no way we would ever do that - who can say whether he'd be satisfied?" said one source, who declined to be identified given the extreme sensitivity of the situation.

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".

"I think there's good momentum and I think there's good honest brokering". "They've got their full teams engaged on this, and I feel positive they can get to an agreement".

"It's conceivable this could be the first big trade win for President Trump's administration", Orr said.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars". He needs a win on trade and this would be a win on trade. "Canada wants to make a deal".