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Canada launches NAFTA challenge of 'illegal' US tariffs on solar panels

Canada launches NAFTA challenge of 'illegal' US tariffs on solar panels

"We know there have been bumps in the road between our two countries but President Trump is determined to make the relationship between our peoples better and stronger", Secretary Pompeo said at the start of the 50-min meeting with Lopez Obrador, who will take office on 1 December.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer is hosting Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo as well as Jesus Seade, who will represent the incoming Lopez Obrador administration.

NAFTA talks are due to resume Thursday in Washington between Canada, Mexico and the United States, and Mexico City has said a deal could be struck by the end of August.

He will be accompanied by Jesus Seade, the designated chief NAFTA negotiator of the incoming Mexican administration.

Ottawa is requesting a NAFTA review of US tariffs targeting Canada's solar power industry under the so-called Chapter 20 dispute settlement provisions of the free trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico, the federal government announced Monday.

Guajardo is due to meet his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday, also to discuss NAFTA. Seade said in an interview last month that he sees a deal as possible before the USA congressional election, and that the incoming president's team fundamentally agrees with the nation's current negotiating positions, reports Bloomberg.

"We're talking to Mexico on NAFTA, and I think we're going to have something worked out", he said. Mexico is demanding some sort of structure to grandfather, or exempt, existing plants at least for the short- to medium-term, he said.

Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports were still casting a shadow on NAFTA talks, Morneau said.

The United States has imposed a 30-per-cent safeguard tariff on imports of solar panels from all countries, including Canada, officials said.

Trump last week repeated his threat to pursue individual deals with Mexico and Canada, and the three nations still remain far apart on major points nearly a year after the negotiations first began.

The Canadian official revealed that the Trump administration has previously tried to put pressure on Canada over NAFTA by claiming to have reached a deal with Mexico.

Chile's Pinera said he met with aides to Lopez Obrador, and said he was confident the next Mexican president would remain committed to free trade.

"That change in Mexico presents us with the opportunity to restart those discussions".

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