US, Canada trade agreement within reach as Trump piles pressure on Trudeau
Sep 01 2018 by Cristina Jennings
The Mexico-U.S. discussions focused on crafting new rules for the automotive industry, which Trump has put at the heart of his drive to rework the pact he has repeatedly described as a "disaster" for American workers.
"Today their numbers, and the way they have their business model would allow them to comply", Guajardo said. US farmers say that's a violation of Canada's trade commitments.
Otherwise, the USA and Canada can make their own separate trade agreement, while Canada and Mexico can choose to have another bilateral deal on their own as well.
"The goal is to make the clock their friend", he said.
But despite obstacles, Canada and the United States could reach an in-principle deal by the Friday deadline.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she's optimistic about the "intense" talks now under way in the accelerated search compromise on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Pat Toomey released a statement Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's announcement the USA and Mexico had agreed to change key parts of NAFTA. But the Americans have abandoned their demand for a "sunset clause", a deal-breaker for Canada that would have required the agreement to expire every five years and be renegotiated. Nieto would gain a legacy achievement, Lopez Obrador the ability to blame any shortcomings in it on the previous regime.
Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he expected to rejoin his USA and Canadian counterparts for trilateral talks later Thursday of Friday.
Trudeau has previously said he could not sign a deal that has an expiry date on it, but that was when the U.S.
"We had a NAFTA agreement that had gotten seriously out of whack, that led to large trade deficits and needed updating", Lighthizer said. Magna International (MG.TO) saw a more muted response.
Most Mexican auto exports are in a position to comply with the new limits, the country's economy minister said. "The text could shift, but not the core of concessions and undertakings".
The interview took place days after Canada and the USA broke off formal negotiations - talks which resumed Tuesday - after the government presented a slimmed-down set of proposals aimed at getting a quick deal.
"We just signed a trade agreement with Mexico, and it's a terrific agreement for everybody", the president declared.
Freeland said officials will delve deeply into specific issues Wednesday.
That means agreement on all substantive points and commitments.
Lighthizer explained that up to 1,000 people were involved in the seven rounds of negotiations between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada over the course of a year. That opens a door for Canada to agree.
Dairy is a politically charged issue that many analysts have predicted would be among the final conflicts to be addressed in the NAFTA renegotiation.
"We recognize that there is a possibility of getting there by Friday, but it is only a possibility, because it will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada", he said at a news conference in northern Ontario on Wednesday. "It will either be a tariff on cars, or it will be a negotiated deal", he said. "I've directly conveyed that concern to minister Freeland on a number of occasions".
Through an interpreter, Pena Nieto reminded Trump four times Monday that he hoped Canada would be part of an eventual trilateral agreement.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that progress in the US-China trade talks was not likely until trade issues with Europe and America's two closest neighbours are resolved.