Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

NAFTA Negotiations Off to a Bumpy Start

NAFTA Negotiations Off to a Bumpy Start

Dade says the US would be wise not to complain about its trade deficit with Canada in oil.

It's only the first round of talks on modernising the North American Free trade agreement, but it seems everyone's waiting for the knock-out blow.

"The views of the president about NAFTA - which I completely share - are well known". We are of the opinion that NAFTA has fundamentally disappointed many, many Americans.

Lighthizer acknowledged that many Americans, particularly in farming and those living in border communities, have benefited from NAFTA and that it was paramount to maintain those interests.

U.S. negotiators will insist on measures to ensure "the huge trade deficits do not continue", he said.

Although the trade deficit with Canada is much smaller, over the past 10 years it has amounted to $365 billion, Lighthizer said at the meeting. The dispute settlement provisions should be created to respect our national sovereignty and our democratic processes.

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In addressing reporters later in the day, Freeland said despite the tone of Lighthizer's opening remarks, Canada would continue to be "strong while being polite and cordial, and that is always going to be the way Canada approaches these talks". Wednesday morning, she held up a photo showing firefighters americans, and mexicans fighting the forest fires in British Columbia, trying to draw inspiration from this spirit of collaboration in the framework of the negotiations. Trump has been so opposed to NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership that having prior experience with trade agreements is often viewed as a political liability for potential appointments, they said. "So it is a compromise that, for Canada, would be a compromise with which we would be able to live",-he said.

Trade analysts noted that the administration has few negotiators with previous NAFTA experience.

Weighing heavily over the talks is the 2018 Mexico presidential election.

"The United States seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the United States and to grow the USA economy by improving US opportunities under NAFTA". Last year, the trade in goods deficit was $64.4 billion. Texas also exports sweeteners to both countries.

The dairy Farmers of Canada went to Washington to "support the canadian government" in the negotiations. USA and Mexican officials have said they would like to conclude talks before the end of the year, well before Mexico's next presidential election on July 1, 2018 - when NAFTA could become a contentious political issue.

The dairy farmers have ill-digested that the free trade agreement with Europe will allow for an increase in imports of cheese, an opening that the Trudeau government had compensated by financial assistance.

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