Canada sees more NAFTA talks this week, much work remains

Canada and U.S. return to NAFTA negotations

President Trump looks to rebrand NAFTA

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland returned from Washington on Wednesday to affix the Liberal caucus retreat in Saskatchewan, but talked about officers from each Canada and the United States will proceed to chat and are essentially in a "real negotiations half".

A well-placed source had earlier told Reuters that Freeland planned to return to Washington for more talks on Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, adding that plenty of work remained.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is brushing aside pressure for his government to finalize a renewed free trade deal with the United States before the end the month.

Canadian and US officials have been meeting this week in Washington in search of a breakthrough on trade.

Canada has already signalled its willingness to allow limited additional access for American dairy producers in the Canadian market - similar to what was agreed upon in the original Trans Pacific Partnership deal, as well as dropping a recently created new class of milk that effectively shut Americans out of the Canadian market for milk ingredients like protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder.

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She said the fact that she and Lighthizer are not immediately scheduled to meet again should "absolutely not" be taken as a sign that the talks are stalled.

Members of congress from both parties have also said they would not support a new NAFTA without Canada's inclusion.

Freeland, pressed as to how much time was left, said her focus was on getting a good deal for Canada.

Canadian officials say they have some doubt as to whether Trump has the legal power to unilaterally tear up the 1994 pact, which he says is biased against the United States and needs to be reformed.

The U.S. and Mexico are intent on wrapping up the matter before December 1, when Mexico's new president will be sworn in.

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NAFTA underpins $1.2 trillion in trade. Uncertainty over the pact's future has hit Canadian and Mexican markets as well as the two countries' currencies.

"I expect we'll probably have several more sessions. This won't get resolved in an afternoon", said the source, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he wants to rename NAFTA the "USMC" - for U.S., Mexico, Canada - and is threatening to cut out the Canadians and drop the "C" from the agreement's name if Ottawa doesn't offer significant concessions in deadlocked talks.

"We do believe that a deal is possible, a deal which is good for Canada, good for the United States, good for Mexico", she stated.

The person responsible for the negotiations on the mexican side, Kenneth Smith, "is party today [Wednesday] to Washington in order to continue to move forward" on the revision of Nafta, has announced that the mexican minister of the Economy.

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