Canadian dollar rebounds from seven-week low on Bank of Canada comments

Muriel Colon
September 7, 2018

National Post: "From cars to medicine, uncertainty of NAFTA deal means consumers lose out, experts say" - "Under nearly any normal circumstance, the negotiation of a trade pact between countries should result in benefits for consumers, say experts who are closely watching the North American free trade talks unfold in Washington".

When a North American trade agreement was first proposed under President Reagan, it was envisioned not just as a commercial pact among three countries but also as a strategic partnership.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is to resume talks with US trade czar Robert Lighthizer, whom she has praised as a "good faith" negotiator in the face of President Donald Trump's Twitter barrages.

"My negotiating counterparty is Ambassador Lighthizer and, as I've said, he has brought good faith and goodwill to the table", she said when asked directly about Trump's comments.

Freeland sounded upbeat as she emerged from a day of talks with top US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer, although she cautioned that no trade deal was done until the last issue was nailed down.

Trudeau could find himself stranded without allies as the Conservative leadership of British Prime Minister Teresa May is concentrating on bargaining the Brexit deal with the European Union and President Trump stalls over the closed Canadian farming sector.

But Canada also will raise concerns about intellectual property rights, language governing financial services and the value of goods shipped via e-commerce sellers that can cross the border duty-free, they said.

"It just makes the U.S. look like a less reliable partner", he says. "And it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal". "We're anxious to move forward with it and anxious to have all three countries involved", he said in the Fox interview. A public comment period wraps up Thursday and people familiar with the White House deliberations last week said the USA president is eager to move soon after that.

President Donald Trump's effort to force Canada into signing on to a new NAFTA on his terms is facing new hurdles thanks to growing opposition at home to his threat to proceed without the U.S.'s northern neighbor. We haven't seen whole chapters of the thing.

"There's going to be a lot of pressure to get a deal with Canada", Mark Sobel, a former U.S. Treasury official and now American chairman of the research group OMFIF.

"Yes, Mr. Trump is going to say the worst things possible about Canada - even yesterday, he announced that the rest of the world is profiting from the United States - but that's rhetoric and we should not be too anxious about it", said Leblond. The U.S. economy would suffer just a 0.22 percent decline.

USA and Canadian negotiators started a second day of talks aimed at rescuing the North American Free Trade Agreement on Thursday as the deadline for a deal this week, set out by President Donald Trump, inched ever closer.

"We need to keep the Chapter 19 dispute resolution because that ensures that the rules are actually followed".

Canada granted greater access to its protected dairy market to secure a trade pact with the European Union a year ago.

Throughout the day Friday, it became increasingly clear that Canada and the USA would be unable to reach an agreement. But the prime minister noted Canada has shown "a certain amount of flexibility in signing other trade deals".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism as necessary in a world where the president of the United States "doesn't always follow the rules".

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