Canada Responds To Launch Of US NAFTA Consultations

Pauline Gross
May 23, 2017

While the US goal of reaching a new deal this year is ambitious, it's not unrealistic if it doesn't seek to radically change Nafta, said Cutler, who served as senior USA negotiator on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

UPA senior vice-president of public policy Robert Guenther said: "The fruit and vegetable industry is highly dependent on worldwide trade, both exports from the USA and imports from critical trading partners such as Mexico and Canada".

The move launching Nafta talks on Thursday is just the first step in a process that will drag on for months.

"We are ready to roll up our sleeves".

"The way we're going to go about it is product by product, country by country", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC Thursday, referring to trade policy generally. But he said he changed his mind after speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The United States officially indicated its intention to renegotiate the trade deal on Wednesday, marking the start of a 90-day consultation window before formal talks get underway.

Lighthizer said the Trump administration aims to modernize the NAFTA by including new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.

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Liberals and having the most heavily corporately funded political party in Canada, raising over $12 million in 2016. Clark called for a retaliatory ban or tax on US thermal coal exports moving through B.C. ports.

Freeland said modernizing worldwide trade agreements is good practice, and Canada will take a "very thoughtful and very strategic approach" in NAFTA talks. "For years, politicians have called for the renegotiation of this agreement, but President Trump is the first to follow through with that promise". He said he hopes negotiations will be completed by the end of the year.

Earlier Thursday, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray told reporters that his government "welcomes this development - we are prepared".

What a renegotiated NAFTA will look like and how it will affect Canada is anybody's guess, but the dairy and softwood lumber industries are two key areas of concern on this side of the border. In part, that's because trade represents a surprisingly small portion of the USA economy - 28 per cent in 2015, according to the World Bank, one of the lowest shares in the world. -Canada trade tensions have escalated. Trump has pledged to dramatically increase US oil and gas production, but Canadian supplies will likely remain an important American energy source for some time.

The Canadian government said it was considering retaliation, including a possible ban on exports of USA coal from B.C.

Lighthizer's letter also gave some indication of the Trump Administration's priorities for this renegotiation.

"The tone and substance of the letter can not be squared with the statements the President made describing NAFTA as a "disaster" and the "single worst trade deal" the United States ever negotiated", the congressmen said in a statement.

Trump has invoked the trade gap to argue that naive American policymakers had been out-negotiated by their Mexican counterparts. "We need Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stand up for people and the planet".

Other reports by GizPress

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