Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Canada and the USA unable to reach NAFTA agreement

Canada and the USA unable to reach NAFTA agreement

With a pledge to resume talks next week, Freeland spoke of progress, of optimism and of her determination to get a deal that's good for Canadians _ a remarkable show of restraint on a day that began with another blast of now-familiar Trump bombast that landed like an anvil on the negotiating table. Canada's Chrystia Freeland said in a briefing Friday afternoon that a "win-win-win agreement is within reach".

So it was on Friday morning when Freeland was asked-after the Toronto Star broke a story about President Donald Trump boasting that any deal the US reaches with Canada will be "totally on our terms"-if the Americans are negotiating "in good faith". Joshua Mahony, a market analyst at online trading group IG, said: "Global markets have staged a remarkable turnaround over the second half of the week, as the optimism about the US-Mexico deal on Monday faded into a more pessimistic phase where traders have to worry about a potential further breakdown in US relations with China, Canada and the World Trade Organisation. I am used to it", Trump tweeted. US officials, Lighthizer continued, "are continuing to work toward agreement".

According to scholar and author He Qinglian, a widely respected expert on the Chinese economy who lives in the United States, the core issue for Washington is China's theft of USA intellectual property and using counterfeit goods to take US companies' market, and the "Made in China 2025" initiative. But Freeland said earlier on Friday her team is "not there yet" in resolving still big differences.

The Star's report on Trump's off-the-record remarks appeared to complicate matters.

The Star cited an anonymous source and claimed not to be bound by the agreement to keep the comment off the record.

Asked about the report, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: "The Canadian and American negotiators continue to work on reaching a win-win deal that benefits both countries". Trump, however, is also quoted as saying that he couldn't say that openly because, "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal". Canada won't give in to USA demands to kill the Chapter 19 panels, a Canadian official familiar with talks said Friday.

The U.S. demanded those tougher standards to boost workers who've complained that cheap foreign labor is siphoning off jobs and lowering wages.

Many observers say that without Canada, the deal between USA and Mexico may not make it.

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Graham and Levine are seeking the office now held by Republican Governor Rick Scott, who in turn is challenging Democratic U.S. Officials have not released the names of the victims. "Their names are Alex Madunic, George Amadeo and Chris McFarland".

'Off the record, Canada's working their ass off.

Trilateral talks were already underway at the technical level and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo was expected to soon rejoin talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, possibly later on Thursday, people familiar with the process said.

"It's somewhat puzzling to understand that the US has been so adamant that chapter 19 must go", said Dattu. "At least Canada knows where I stand!".

Trump said he will sign a bilateral agreement with Mexico in 90 days, which Canada can join "if it is willing".

However, that deal did not include Canada.

Where things stand with CanadaWhile Friday's deadline was arbitrary, the notification to Congress does start a countdown clock for US-Canadian negotiations.

Trudeau has to balance the auto tariff threat against the political fallout that would probably come if he's seen as caving to Trump on issues of major importance to Canada, including dairy prices and dispute resolution (so-called "Chapter 19").

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