Canada not making concessions needed for a NAFTA deal, says U.S.

Marco Green
September 25, 2018

The Trump administration appears virtually certain to miss its weekend deadline for reaching agreement with Canada on a new North American trade deal, according to US officials and people close to the talks.

"The fact is, Canada is not making concessions in areas where we think they're essential", Lighthizer said at the Concordia Summit in NY.

"We're going to go ahead with Mexico", he said.

The United States and Canada are divided over the best way to resolve trade disputes and on a USA demand for more access to Canada's protected dairy market. "If Canada comes along later, then that's what will happen".

Trump has demanded major changes to NAFTA, which he says caused US manufacturing jobs to move to low-wage Mexico.

Canadian officials say that despite the USA threats to go it alone with Mexico, they do not believe Trump can by himself turn the 1994 pact into a bilateral deal.

The chief USA trade negotiator is scheduled to meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in NY. The two are in NY for a United Nations meeting but it is unclear whether they will meet.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau waits for the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez before a military welcoming ceremony at The Royal Canadian Hussars Armoury in Montreal, Quebec, Canada September 23, 2018.

"They (the United States and Mexico) made certain agreements". The main reason for the deadline was that incoming Mexican PM Lopez Obrador wanted his predecessor to sign the deal before he leaves office on Dec 1.

I'm doubtful on that because Lopez Obrador has clearly given the current negotiators some instructions but it's something to think about.

If the remaining gaps can not be bridged in the next few days, the administration will request congressional approval of a deal with Mexico only, Lighthizer said in NY at the Concordia summit, an annual conference on policy issues. "That doesn't make any sense at all, so hopefully we'll end up with something with Canada". "There are very large issues", Lighthizer said, playing down chances of a deal with Canada.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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