Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Mexico sees US-Canada trade deal 'in the coming days'

Canada and U.S. return to NAFTA negotations President Trump looks to rebrand NAFTA
Deanna Wagner | 16 September, 2018, 01:42

Trump's reported name selection has some competition, though.

U.S. President Donald Trump informed Congress on August 27 that he meant to sign a free trade agreement with Mexico, and possibly Canada, by November 30.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to morph NAFTA into a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, if Canada is unwilling to sign on to a deal on his terms.

Freeland said both sides are "continuing to work very hard" in a recent press release, though she stresses that Canada will not sign a deal unless it is in the best interest of Canadians. Republican senators have been highly critical of such a scenario, with some going so far as to suggest Trump does not have legal authority to turn the three-country NAFTA into a bilateral deal between the US and Mexico.

Trump has targeted what he sees as "unfair" trade as part of his "America First" agenda to boost USA manufacturing and jobs, imposing tariffs on trading partners, including Canada, China, the European Union and Mexico. Swap players affirm they're being told that now not great used to be done all the way in which through the in some unspecified time in the future of talks this week between Ms. Freeland and Mr. Lighthizer. Ms. Freeland and her USA counterpart discussed the possibility of resuming face-to-face negotiations as early as Tuesday, but no date has yet been set, a government official said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Trump mused about renaming the trade pact "USMC" - with M referring to Mexico and C for Canada - based on his disdain for the NAFTA moniker. The United States Marine Corps often goes by the acronym USMC, even using it as a handle on Twitter.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's global affairs minister, was in Washington, DC, for talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this week, but the two sides are still negotiating over a handful of issues, including the dairy tariffs.

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"We have seen various deadlines put forward as markers to work for", Trudeau said.

"We'll do the work and try and get there as quick as we can, but we're going to make sure that we're doing what is necessary to get the right deal for Canadians", Trudeau said at the end of a meeting of legislators from his ruling Liberal Party in the western city of Saskatoon.

He shrugged off Mr. Trump's suggested new name for NAFTA, saying it's not something he's thought about.

"I don't think we've spent much time talking about what the name or potential name or renaming could be", he said.

Late Thursday, Mexican chief negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos tweeted that his country is fine with a bilateral deal as well.

The ongoing talks between Canada and the U.S.in Washington D.C. have been making progress, Guajardo told reporters on the sidelines of a business forum.