Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trade father figure Mulroney urges Ottawa to make a deal on NAFTA

Trade father figure Mulroney urges Ottawa to make a deal on NAFTA

"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the USA doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

In reaching a new NAFTA, Canada is protecting its interests but also "looking to be flexible because it's time to update this deal after 25 years", he said.

Major stumbling blocks for Ottawa and Washington remain: an worldwide system for resolving disputes, Canada's protected dairy industry and Canadian cultural subsidies.

"So if we don't find some way to accommodate some of that, then we're not going to have a deal".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland sounded sanguine on Wednesday as she emerged from negotiations with top us trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer, although she cautioned that no trade deal was done until the last issue was nailed down. While China/US tensions have seemed to support the dollar, with the US seeing as to have the upper hand, NAFTA progress should be CAD and commodities which would ultimately weigh on the greenback and potentially lift the price of gold - well, at least that is what we have seen in the late hours of US trade.

No word yet on when she might return to Washington to continue NAFTA talks.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who says he is prepared to tear up NAFTA, has struck a trade deal with Mexico and threatened to push ahead without Canada.

Mulroney acknowledged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is on a short leash from the White House when it comes to what he can offer in the talks, but noted that Trump trusts Lighthizer a lot.


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 NAFTA pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.

"We're negotiating all this at once".

Canadian officials have said they are working on the assumption that they have until the end of September to make a deal.

Mexico is also expected to rejoin the talks at some point on Friday, allowing for three-way negotiations to resume after a two-month break. In April 2017, Trump almost withdrew from NAFTA after becoming angered by the plight of Wisconsin dairy farmers whose milk protein exports to Canada had been cut off by the Class 7 pricing scheme.

"Our farmers don't have access to the Canadian markets the way that they have access to us", Perdue said in an interview that aired Sunday on C-SPAN.

Ottawa and Washington are trying to reach an agreement that could be submitted to the U.S. Congress by month's end.

"If (Trump) goes to Congress with a bilateral arrangement with Mexico, he's got problems - real problems", Mulroney said.

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