U.S.-Canada NAFTA talks break up without deal

August 31 , 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump notified Congress on Friday of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico after talks with Canada broke with no immediate deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

U.S. officials plan to resume talks with their Canadian counterparts next Wednesday with the aim of getting a deal all three nations could sign, Reuters reported.

All three countries have stressed the importance of NAFTA, which governs billions of dollars in regional trade and a bilateral deal announced by the U.S. and Mexico on Monday paved the way for Canada to rejoin the talks this week. 

But by Friday the mood had soured, partly on Trump’s off-the-record remarks made to Bloomberg News that any trade deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms”. He later confirmed the comments, which the Toronto Star first reported.

“At least Canada knows where I stand,” he later said on Twitter.

Ottawa has stood firm against signing “just any deal.”

The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. dollar after the Wall Street Journal first reported that the talks had ended on Friday with no agreement. 

Reuters reported that one contentious issue between the U.S. and Canada involves Chapter 19, the mechanism that has hindered the U.S. from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases. 

Lighthizer said on Monday Mexico had agreed to cut the mechanism. For Ottawa, Chapter 19 is a red line.

Trump reportedly argues Canada’s hefty dairy tariffs are hurting U.S. farmers.

 

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