Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations

Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations

The talks are focused on US demands to scrap the so-called Chapter-19 dispute resolution mechanism in NAFTA, overturn some of Canada's current "carve-out" of cultural industries from free-trade rules and loosen protections under the dairy sector's supply management system. After more than a year of negotiations, Canada and the United States are still trying to resolve differences over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which also includes Mexico.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland were unable to clinch a deal despite meeting late into the evening on Thursday. But as an October 1 deadline to renegotiate NAFTA looms, Canada is prepared to offer similar concessions on the dairy industry to those that it agreed to in free trade deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations, the sources said.

Even Prime Minister Trudeau suggested in an interview a week ago Canada was willing to bend on dairy.

"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the USA doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

"I don't think President Trump will go to the mat over Chapter 19".

US officials say time is running out to agree on a text on which the current Congress can vote.

Canada has reportedly offered to make concessions to its protected dairy industry, which has come under repeated attack from Trump, in an effort to retain Chapter 19.

"We've taken those hits for team Canada, and we are determined that there be no further concessions on dairy", said David Wiens, vice president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

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"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that's not who we are", Craft told the gathered crowd as she thanked Canada - and Gander - for playing host in 2001 to countless stranded American air passengers.

NAFTA negotiations resumed Tuesday morning as Americans marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

With so much uncertainty, Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have regularly been dogged by questions about the fate of NAFTA.

A late day comment from Pres. Trump boosted the precious metal and the Canadian dollar where he said "Trade talks going well".

"At the end of the day, neighbors help each other when they need help".

After leaving the U.S. Trade Representative offices following an initial meeting on Tuesday, Freeland described a positive atmosphere as the two sides work "extremely intensively".

Mr. Monette said that it is absolutely necessary to back up the supply management to protect the domestic producers.

The two sides have so far been unable to resolve key differences over USA access to the Canadian dairy market, a cultural exemption for Canada and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

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