Adviser says U.S. close to Mexico-only NAFTA deal, Canada unmoved

Lloyd Doyle
September 24, 2018

US officials have said they want to finalize a trade deal before October 1st in order to be able to submit a final agreement to Congress in time to have it approved before the new government of Mexico takes over on December 1.

The United States is getting "very, very close" to having to move forward on its trade deal with Mexico without Canada, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Friday.

Washington reached a bilateral trade deal with Mexico in late August and is threatening to exclude Canada if need be.

Canadian trade minister Chrystia Freeland has noted that even with these systems in place, Canada imported five times as much dairy products from the it exported to the U.S.

But now, we're told that Canadians want assurances that Trump's punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum will be lifted and his threat to impose further tariffs on the auto sector be withdrawn.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland left Washington on Thursday after two days of inconclusive talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

A senior Canadian labor leader briefed on the negotiations told Reuters that an immediate breakthrough was unlikely.

Yussuff said a standoff over how to settle disputes was "a critical issue".

Investor concerns over the future of the 1994 pact, which underscores $1.2 trillion in trade, have regularly hurt stock markets in all three nations, whose economies are highly integrated. The two sides are also at odds over US demands for more access to Canada's dairy market.

We're inching closer and closer to another American imposed deadline to craft a three-way NAFTA deal - and we're not seeing any encouraging signs that an agreement is imminent.

As part of the bilateral deal between Mexico and the United States, the Mexican side agreed to limit its exports of autos and SUVs. Next week she will be in NY for a United Nations session.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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