Freeland, Lighthizer finish NAFTA meeting, negotiators grind forward

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Chapter 19 allows NAFTA partners to evaluate the fairness of extra taxes placed on products (known as as anti-dumping or countervailing duties) by domestic agencies including such things as the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

All throughout NAFTA talks, the issue of supply management in the Canadian dairy industry has been a sticking point.

Freeland addressed concerns that Canada was being left behind, saying: "We are back, as we said we would be last week".

Freeland maintained the same upbeat tone she has held since arriving in Washington this week to reboot talks with the Trump administration.

As the two sides met, new economic data showed that the USA trade deficit with Canada grew to US$3.1 billion in July.

Mulroney orchestrated the original Canada-Free Trade Agreement in 1988, which evolved into the current NAFTA agreement. She said he's pointed to potential negatives as well as positives, while the stressing everything is hypothetical until something is decided.

Canadian and US negotiators could not reach a deal to meet Trump's deadline last Friday.

"It's not going to be the deal-breaker", he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland did reference the need to uphold the NAFTA exception to "preserve Canadian culture" in a speech before negotiations began 13 months ago.

Freeland is to meet with American trade czar Robert Lighthizer later this morning at his office near the White House.

The problem for Trump is that US business and farm groups as well as a broad bipartisan swath of legislators say they will oppose any deal that doesn't include Canada.

Mexican officials stressed in a joint statement that they are "continuing to promote an agreement to which Canada is a party". Free Trade Agreement signed in 1987.

"There is good faith and good will on both sides".

Trump has threatened repeatedly to leave Canada on the sidelines and proceed with Mexico, which reached a deal with Washington last week and could sign NAFTA 2.0 as soon as November 30.

Talks broke off last Friday and resumed Wednesday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 76 cents to $69.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, shed 64 cents to $77.51 per barrel in London.

The Bank of Canada isn't expected to increase interest rates on Wednesday but markets will be watching for any word coming out of the resumption of NAFTA talks between Canada and the United States, said Jerusalim.

Others say it is Trump's insistence on some version of a sunset clause in the "new" trade deal that most undermines the sense that NAFTA was also a reliable and settled partnership.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to push ahead with a bilateral deal with Mexico, effectively killing the nearly 25-year-old three-country pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.

Faced with an unpredictable USA president ready to strike on Twitter, Trudeau said the dispute resolution mechanism in Chapter 19 ensures trade rules are followed.

But in recent days he has become more aggressive towards Canada on Twitter - bluster that some trade experts are dismissing as a predictable negotiating tactic.

"Now our negotiators are heading back to Washington tomorrow to engage in a constructive and collaborative way to see if there is a deal for all of us there", Trudeau said.

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