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Canada's Trudeau faces hard choices at NAFTA talks

Canada's Trudeau faces hard choices at NAFTA talks

But Canadian officials, who note increasing political pressure on Trump from US business and labour circles to keep NAFTA as a trilateral arrangement, said they were in no hurry.

All throughout NAFTA talks, the issue of supply management in the Canadian dairy industry has been a sticking point.

"We will not sign a deal that is bad for Canadians and, quite frankly, not having a Chapter 19 to ensure that the rules are followed would be bad for Canadians".

"We live next door to an entertainment juggernaut that could easily roll over the whole Canadian cultural sector", he said.

"A stronger USA dollar which is bad for emerging markets, not good for trade, commodities are all weaker and as a result Canadian equity markets are in the red for the most part".

Trump charges that the 1994 pact, which underpins US$1.2 trillion in trade between the three countries, has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of USA jobs, a statement most economists dispute.

"It was important to discuss a couple of issues face-to-face", she said, without elaborating.

Finally, the higher domestic content rule, which requires that 75 per cent (up from 62.5 per cent) of the parts in any vehicle sold in North America be produced in the U.S. or Mexico, presents no real problem for Canada to adopt in a similar agreement with the U.S. Nor does the requirement that 40 per cent to 45 per cent of auto parts in cars sold be made by workers earning at least US$16 per hour.

"If it doesn't work out that is going to be fine for our country".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington August 31, 2018.

Canadian and USA officials are meeting on Wednesday in a bid to settle disagreements holding up the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trudeau said Tuesday during a press conference to announce funding for transit in Surrey, B.C., that Canada would not sign onto a North American Free Trade Agreement that does not include a dispute resolution mechanism and exemptions for cultural industries.

Canada is in talks to stay in a regional trade bloc with the United States and Mexico.

The battle with Canada is building as the White House also prepares to roll out new tariffs on products from China that make up some $200 billion in annual trade in the most significant batch of duties yet aimed at Beijing.

In trade-related economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing the USA trade deficit widened in the month of July.

Sources said both sides want a deal, but cautioned there remain disagreements on key issues, including dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Trump has threatened repeatedly to leave Canada on the sidelines and proceed with Mexico, which reached a deal with Washington last week and could sign NAFTA 2.0 as soon as November 30.

Though the U.S. president often threatens to withdraw from Nafta, the latest pledges are piling up pressure on negotiators who are trying to wrap up more than a year's worth of talks and strike a deal that could be signed before 1 December.

Benjamin Reitzes of BMO Capital Markets wrote in a note to clients that Wednesday's statement makes it clear the NAFTA talks are biggest issue for markets and the Bank of Canada at the moment. But those talks excluded Canada, the third NAFTA country.

Lorna Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at Washington's Wilson Center, watched all of the consultation hearings Congress held a year ago prior to the start of the NAFTA re-negotiation.

The Canadian dollar initially gained slightly, touching C$1.3166 to the USA dollar, or 75.95 US cents, before settling back to C$1.3185, or 75.84 US cents. He said they've come a long way with Canada and now he thinks "they will treat us fairly".

On Saturday, Trump said there is "no political necessity" to keep Canada in NAFTA and he warned Congress not to interfere or he would kill the pact.

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