Canada's Foreign Minister Optimistic About New Trade Deal

U.S. And Mexico Reach Trade Deal; Trump Wants To Drop NAFTA Name

4 takeaways from the U.S.-Mexico trade deal

US President Donald Trump threatened this week to dump the almost 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), making it the latest deal to be targeted as part of his "America First" trade strategy. Canadians are stunned by the repeated broadsides from what had always been their closest ally and some have even begun boycotts.

"It would be the end of the family farm here in Ontario and in Canada", Sleeth said. There was that disastrous G-7 summit in Quebec.

Canadians are stunned by the repeated broadsides from what has always been their closest ally and some have even begun boycotts.

Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is trying to reach agreement with the USA this week.

Before entering the USTR building, Freeland told reporters she is "encouraged by the progress the US and Mexico have made, particularly on cars and labor".

Earlier on Wednesday, the Trump administration's own anti-dumping duties on Canadian paper, used in books and newsprint, were thrown out by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The tentative deal sought to end the mass exodus of manufacturing from the USA, especially with automakers.

"It's not the way you treat a friend", Lajeunesse said. Trump has repeatedly deemed Canadian tariffs on some dairy products as unfair for USA producers.

Prof. Afesorgbor said allowing imports of cheaper USA dairy products would lead to lower prices in the dairy aisle, while forcing Canadian dairy farms to become bigger and more efficient - or be shut down. "I'm a golfer, and normally I do two trips a year to the USA with my buddies".

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"I realize dairy is such a tiny tiny proportion of the overall mix here that it's nearly silly in some ways to talk about it in the same breath as auto parts or cars but I still think supply management does speak to Canadian food security and food sovereignty", he said.

Ms. Freeland and her team have been in talks with USA and Mexico officials in Washington since Tuesday, including an overnight bargaining session.

But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear he would only sign a new trade pact he considers good for his country.

In January, dozens of politicians from Trump's Republican party - which now controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate - urged the president not to withdraw from the treaty, stating a "wide range" of U.S. industries had benefited from the agreement.

Trump expressed optimism today that a deal could be reached. "We'll see what happens, but in any event, things are working out very well". That is a major win for Trump (and Canada, if a trilateral deal becomes a reality).

There is some optimism in Canada's automotive sector despite the Trump tariff threats. Under the new deal with Mexico, 40 per cent to 45 per cent of auto content would have to be made by workers making more than US$16 per hour, a condition that favors the USA and Canada.

"There's nothing here that is not doable for Canada", said Brian Kingston, vice president for global affairs at The Business Council of Canada.

"I think they want a better deal on their auto sector from Mexico, and I think they want more access on certain agriculture products like dairy to Canada", Trudeau said on NBC's Meet the Press. The Mexican peso MXN= gained 0.44 percent versus the greenback, while the Canadian dollar CAD= rose 0.05 percent. Stocks of Canadian auto parts companies were up too.

The U.S. has demanded that Canada move off its line on both issues as well as others.

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On a separate track, the steel and aluminum tariffs were not part of the Mexico-U.S. deal, and may not be part of any trilateral agreement. The U.S. pulled out of TPP past year, and there are fears it could flood the Canadian market with low-cost milk by rejoining the 11-country trade pact, effectively doubling any access won through NAFTA.

The Toronto Star had a different take.

Can Trump withdraw from NAFTA?

"We're going to call it the United States-Mexico trade agreement".

She declined to name the specific issues, but said on Tuesday that Mexico's concessions on auto rules of origin and labour rights was a breakthrough.

Mexico's efforts to reach an accord with Washington "definitely clears the way for us to have some significant, substantive, and, I think, productive conversations with the U.S. this week", Freeland told reporters. An index of the USA currency against several trading partners.DXY fell 0.12 percent.

Still, the ties between the USA and Canada are without parallel anywhere in the world. "No matter how friendly and even-tempered the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt".

Trade expert Eric Miller, who runs a Washington consulting firm, Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, agrees the Friday deadline set by Trump is not in the cards. "If there are some who think they can go around Quebec ... there will be serious political consequences", Liberal leader and sitting premier Philippe Couillard said Wednesday, the Montreal Gazette reported.

"This is going to have a horrendous impact on Canada-American relations", Bothwell said.

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"They're talking very tough on Chapter 19".

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