Canadian trade negotiators to brief PM Trudeau in person

Canadian trade negotiators to brief PM Trudeau in person

Canadian trade negotiators to brief PM Trudeau in person

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a news conference at the Canadian Embassy after talks at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, in Washington, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

"The atmosphere continues to be cordial, there continues to be goodwill on both sides", said Freeland, who said she made sure the significance of Tuesday's date was not lost on her American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

After her stop in Washington, Freeland is due to attend this week's meetings of the governing Liberal Party of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month.

Trump almost tore up the NAFTA pact past year after visiting farmers in Wisconsin, a major USA dairy producer that Washington says has been hurt by Canadian protectionism.

A member of an influential Congressional panel - and a Donald Trump supporter - said in a Canadian interview that providing American dairy farmers with more access to the Canadian market may appease the president.

Trudeau has said Canada could be willing to be flexible on dairy.

Talks are expected to resume after Lighthizer travels to Brussels for trade talks with European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Monday.

The politically thorny issue remains an obstacle in NAFTA negotiations as discussions drag on without an agreement after 13 months of talks, started at Trump's behest.

Daniel Ujczo, a USA trade lawyer who has worked for both the Canadian and the US governments, rejects the notion that Canada and the United States are at a stalemate. However, he said, Mr. Lighthizer is far more eager to dismantle this dispute-settlement provision.

Although issues related to autos, such as the US push to boost North American content in vehicles, have been a major part of the negotiations, other issues, particularly a desire for more USA access to Canada's dairy market and Canadian insistence on maintaining NAFTA's dispute resolution system, are believed to be some of the major remaining sticking points.

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

"Canada has been ripping us off for a long time". 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.

Data released on Wednesday showed the US trade deficit hit a five-month high of $50 billion.

"There is no question Canada and Mexico are going to get a haircut and the best you can hope for when you get a haircut is that it looks stylish", Mr. Ujczo said.

"It's time to update this deal after 25 years".

Trudeau, for his part, added that: "we're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win-win-win that we know is there".

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