NAFTA negotiations resume after Trudeau criticizes rule-breaker Donald Trump

A New NAFTA Without Canada? Unions and Tech Push Back Against Trump's Mexico-Only Deal

President Trump on Wednesday said the "intense" negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should result in Canada treating the USA fairly on trade.

Those issues 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.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington today to resume talks with her USA counterpart aimed at bringing Canada into the NAFTA fold.

"Trump said August 27 he had made a limited bilateral trade agreement with Mexico - though Canada can join and talks on the question are planned".

But on the sidelines, President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have dug into seemingly irreconcilable positions.

Canada's cultural exemption was absent from the Trump administration's list of negotiating objectives released before the start of the talks.

Canada and the U.S. need to present a text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico last week, trade analysts say.

He can either push back against USA demands and risk being cut out of a continental trade deal, or give in and be accused by opposition parties of capitulating to Donald Trump. Canada wants to ensure its publishing and broadcasting industries are not overrun by bigger United States rivals, and that dairy imports don't pull down prices for its own farmers.

While speaking to reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday, Trump again called NAFTA "a very stupid deal for the United States".

"We're going to continue to be constructive and thoughtful and focused on getting to the right deal around the table but we're not going to accept that we should have to sign a bad deal just because the president wants it", Trudeau said Wednesday during an Alberta radio interview, taking a tough stance.

"No NAFTA is better than a bad NAFTA deal for Canadians and that's what we are going to stay with".

The prime minister staked out Canada's ground as a fresh October 1 deadline and the encroaching American midterm elections cast a shadow over Wednesday's resumption of negotiations in Washington. Congress has the authority to approve trade deals. USA crude prices settled 1.4 per cent lower at $67.77 a barrel.

USA negotiators want to kill Chapter 19 and tabled a proposal last October to remove it from a modernized agreement. Dispute settlement would give Ottawa the ability to challenge US tariffs and ensure that Canada maintains certain cultural exemptions, industries or arts that are seen as part of the country's identity.

Campbell, who served in Brian Mulroney's cabinet and later became Canada's first female prime minister for six months in 1993 after Mulroney resigned, said Chapter 19 dispute resolution was "important" in the first 15 years of the agreement, but hasn't been used as frequently in the past decade. Justin Trudeau has seen the Canadian dollar fall on the back of the recently announced trade deal and the failure of the Liberal Government to negotiate a new deal.

"I think there are strong constituencies for the cultural exemption, particularly in Quebec... and I think it's something that they can bring home as a likely win", Ujczo said.

In making his argument, Trudeau warned that abandoning the cultural exemption would be tantamount to surrendering Canada's sovereignty and identity because it could enable, for example, an American network to buy Canadian newspapers or TV networks. S. Free Trade Agreement, established in 1987, but Trump has demonstrated his disdain for trade commitments.

Noting that as part of its side of the bargain Mexico agreed to "locking in reforms and liberalization", Mr. Levy says that 25 years later the U.S. can indeed count on not just a stable Mexico but a partnership with both of its continental neighbors.

In the US, businesses, farmers, unions and Congress insistent that there must be a three-nation agreement. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms.

"Today the president notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico - and Canada, if it is willing - 90 days from now", Lighthizer said in a statement Friday.

"The president needs to take a look at the Constitution - it gives Congress authority over trade".

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