Trump delaying NAFTA deal until after United States midterm elections

Ivan Schwartz
July 6, 2018

Following his overwhelming majority win, Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he supports reaching a deal on renegotiating NAFTA with the United States and Canada. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA, said he doesn't go to many functions anymore - but he decided to make a point of attending this year's party after he heard that some people planned to avoid it. Now that Mexicos presidential election is done, Ottawa wants negotiations on the North America Free Trade Agreement to restart as soon as possible, one government official familiar with the plan said on condition of anonymity.

Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he supports the continued renegotiation of NAFTA, and wants his own team of experts to be part of the talks before he takes office December 1.

Canada also signaled last week that it was losing interest in a fair trade agreement saying that it doesn't think the renegotiation of NAFTA will happen.

Asked about the high-profile people who declined to attend, Leslie said: "The great news is that we can live in a country where people can make such choices to either or not attend a social function".

The broadcast of the interview with Trump coincided with Canada's imposition of tariffs on select USA goods in retaliation for Washington's levies on Canadian steel and aluminum.

The White House said on Monday that Canada's decision to enact tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods in retaliation for USA tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum would not help its economy.

"We've been very nice to Canada for many years and they've taken advantage of that", Sanders said during her daily press briefing in Washington.

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On Sunday, Ottawa responded to the Trump administration's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum with duties of its own against US imports.

Canada's tariffs will dramatically increase the price of the targeted USA goods in Canadian markets, dampening demand for them and hurting the bottom line of the US companies that produce them.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Lopez Obrador by phone.

"Canada, you're not going to get 275 per cent for your dairy and you're going to take down all your barriers", he said as an example. Freeland said on Friday, "We will not escalate - and we will not back down".

"The president is working to fix the broken system and he'll continue pushing for that", she said.

The president's decision to push back the NAFTA talks comes as the US and Canada have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade dispute over Trump's tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Other reports by GizPress

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