U.S. -Canada NAFTA talks resumed Wednesday after the Trump administration threatened to withdraw itself from the 24-year-old trade deal, notifying Congress on Friday of its intention to enter into a trade deal with Mexico.
President Donald Trump on the trade negotiations between the US and Canada.
The goal of this week's talks is to reach a deal by December 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico's new president takes office.
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 pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.
Sticking points in NAFTA talk include America's demand for access to Canada's highly protected dairy sector, as well as the Trudeau administration's push to preserve a dispute-resolution mechanism that the White House wants to dismantle.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses supporters at a Liberal Party fundraiser Tuesday in Surrey, British Columbia.
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But Canadian officials, who note increasing political pressure on Trump from USA business and labor circles to keep NAFTA as a trilateral arrangement, said they were in no hurry.
Canadian negotiator Chrystia Freeland left the USTR building a few hours ago and said Canada's positions were very clear and that "fresh ideas" were needed.
I think a NAFTA deal is close and that could help to underpin the Canadian dollar in the day ahead.
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"It won't be fine for Canada, but we love Canada", he is quoted in the report as saying.
Trudeau has deemed the cultural exemptions a red line and something that must be included in any new agreement.
She said that's because a recent ruling by the court emphasized that it did not have jurisdiction under the Special Import Measures Act to change so-called "dumping margins".
One of the key issues dividing the USA and Canada is agriculture policy, and particularly USA demands over Canada's dairy market.
Canadian and US negotiators could not reach a deal to meet Trump's deadline last Friday.
Freeland flew to Washington last week for four days of negotiations to try to keep Canada within the regional trade bloc. Trump is under pressure from Republicans to preserve NAFTA as a deal among all three North American countries, but the president showed signs of chafing at the pressure from Congress.
Congress must approve any rewrite of the deal and could refuse to endorse an agreement that excludes Canada.
With the USA midterms eight weeks away, and Trump facing pressure to maintain the Republican hold on the House and Senate, the influence of Congress will permeate the resumption of Wednesday's talks. But that's not set in stone, said Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright.
He warned Congress on Wednesday not to "interfere" with the negotiations and said he would "simply terminate NAFTA entirely and we will be far better off". "The president can not pull America out of NAFTA without Congress's permission", Wyden said.
Officials for both sides are scheduled to meet in Washington on Wednesday in a bid to settle some major differences.