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

Muriel Colon
September 14, 2018

"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.

Discussions weren't expected to get going again until the end of the week.

Meanwhile, despite the "several" issues still in dispute, there is strong will on the USA side, especially, to wrap up the talks by Friday, trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said Monday. What trade scholars like me know is that Trump does not have the upper hand in these negotiations.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington on Tuesday for another round of talks to renew the NAFTA trade pact, an official said on Monday, as time runs short to seal a deal.

She has declined to discuss specifics about the talks, noting she and Lighthizer have agreed to refrain from negotiating in public.

Freeland spokesman Adam Austen did not give details.

Earlier in the day, she noted that Tuesday was the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks to drive home a point about the long-standing relationship between the two countries. They are aiming to complete a deal by the end of the month so that Mexico, Canada and the United States can sign an agreement by the end of November. However, it was only a matter of hours beforehand that Freeland told reporters that, "Both sides did a lot of thinking over the weekend, so this was a very productive meeting".

What Trump hesitates to acknowledge is the interdependence between the USA and Canadian economies.

Concerned hopefulness seems to be a good description for the many Canadians awaiting the outcome of negotiations to update trade arrangements among the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Craft, a fixture at the NAFTA talks last week, was in Gander, N.L., to commemorate the role that town played on the day 17 years ago when the United States shut down its airspace, forcing countless passenger airliners to find refuge wherever they could.

No word yet on when she might return to Washington to continue NAFTA talks. "Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but USA officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office. He said Canada and the United States spent a lot of time last week reconciling what the USA and Mexico had already agreed upon.

The U.S. and Mexico last month reached a preliminary agreement to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Even Canadian concessions on dairy may not be enough to make the US keep the current dispute resolutions", said Carlos Capistran and Mingzi Yi, economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a note.

Trump is threatening to move ahead on a deal without Canada.

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