Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trudeau says Liberals looking for right NAFTA deal, shrugs off deadline

Trudeau says Liberals looking for right NAFTA deal, shrugs off deadline

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to morph NAFTA into a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, if Canada is unwilling to sign on to a deal on his terms.

A leader of a Canadian labor organization trolled President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Carolina detention centers say it will not relocate inmates in mandatory evacuation zones Letitia James routs three Dems to win New York AG primary Trump slams Kerry for "illegal" meetings with Iran MORE on Twitter Thursday afternoon over the president's threat to remove Canada from a planned trade agreement that included the USA and Mexico.

Canada and the US are now negotiating the terms of their trade agreement after missing a Trump-imposed deadline August 31.

While Mexico prefers a three-way agreement, it is prepared to enter into a bilateral deal with Washington, the official said.

Canadian and American officials have been working towards an October 1 deadline as they try and hammer out an agreement on a handful of sticking points including dairy and Chapter 19 - one of NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanisms.

The United States wants to water down or eliminate NAFTA's Chapter 19, win significant new access to Canada's dairy market and relax foreign-ownership restrictions on Canadian media companies by removing a cultural-exemption clause in the trade pact. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.

The outcome of negotiations, now in their 13th month, will determine the economic and trade relationship between the three North American countries, with the prospects of numerous workers and industries hanging in the balance.

"They used to call it NAFTA". So far, Canada has been unable to obtain a guarantee from the United States that the country would not be hit with punitive USA auto tariffs if Ottawa agrees to a new NAFTA deal.

"We have seen various deadlines put forward as markers to work for", Trudeau said. Trump also stated that he would drop the letter "C" if Canada doesn't agree to the changes he is seeking, according to sources. "If that is not possible we are ready to advance bilaterally with the United States".

Late Thursday, Mexican chief negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos tweeted that his country is fine with a bilateral deal as well.

Trudeau's comments came at the end of a caucus retreat aimed at plotting strategy for next week's resumption of Parliament and laying the ground work for the run up to next year's federal election.

The Trump administration has informed Congress it plans to sign a new trade deal with Mexico - and possibly Canada - by November 30.

"I don't think we've spent much time talking about what the name or potential name or renaming could be", he said.

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