Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

9/11 anniversary gives perspective to NAFTA impasse, Freeland says

9/11 anniversary gives perspective to NAFTA impasse, Freeland says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during an interview Tuesday with a Winnipeg radio station, CJOB, that there are certain positions Canada has and remain firm on.

"I think we understand there are certain issues on which we will need to compromise", one of the sources said when asked about increased dairy access for the USA industry.

The director of public Affairs of Teamsters Canada, Christopher Monette, who attended behind-the-scenes to the most recent negotiations in Washington, believes that the administration, Trump would not touch the system of supply management, particularly as it relates to the dairy industry.

Canada and the US are trying to finalize a text that could be submitted to Congress by the end of the month to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico. Perdue said on C-SPAN that Lighthizer has been "very clear" about the need for the Class 7 pricing system to be repealed.

"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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Officials say the main sticking points are Canada's dairy quota regime, Ottawa's desire to keep a dispute-resolution mechanism, and Canadian media laws that favor domestically produced content.

"So if we don't find some way to accommodate some of that, then we're not going to have a deal".

Trudeau replied, "Sorry to disappoint, but we continue to work hard and we are positively optimistic that we can get a win-win-win for all three countries". Eares are on the ground for USA and China developments but at the fore again was the NAFTA negotiations.

Talks were expected to resume this week between the two.

But those talks excluded Canada, the third NAFTA country.

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Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue meeting with her United States counterpart.

Canada's foreign minister is to be in Saskatoon on Wednesday to update her fellow caucus members on the ongoing negotiations. "I think everybody is working towards a deal", said Flavio Volpe, president of Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association.

"Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but USA officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office. "Nafta has been the worst trade deal ever".

What should Canada do at the NAFTA negotiating table?

In April 2017, Trump almost withdrew from NAFTA after becoming angered by the plight of Wisconsin dairy farmers whose milk protein exports to Canada had been cut off by the Class 7 pricing scheme.

The hope is for a trilateral agreement in principle that Congress can approve before Mexico's new president takes office on December 1.

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