Canada Not Making 'Essential' Trade Concessions, According to Lighthizer

Marco Green
September 25, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there was some "distance" between the two sides on issues such as access to Canada's dairy market and how best to settle trade disputes.

At a separate point in the interview, Lighthizer said, "We're going to go ahead with Mexico". However, if anything that might add more pressure on the United States, which has squeezed a good deal out of Mexico. If Canada comes along later, then that's what will happen. Both the USA and Mexico have said that they will move forward without Canada if necessary. He covers USA politics and current affairs. "We're sort of running out of time".

Lighthizer's comments were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. "That doesn't make any sense at all, so hopefully we'll end up with something with Canada".

The Trump administration says the text of a deal is needed by Saturday to allow the Mexican government to sign it before leaving office on Nov 30.

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. "I think our view is that now we'll turn to that as the next stage".

Well it could mean a US-Canada trade spat, auto tariffs and other problems.

Mr. Lighthizer also suggested that Canada and Mexico can not expect swift relief on steel and aluminium tariffs, which the USA imposed on its NAFTA partners in June.

Whether the US could actually proceed with a separate bilateral deal with Mexico, absent Canada, is a matter of debate.

In recent days, officials have issued a series of increasingly pessimistic assessments of the chances of including Canada in the trade deal with Mexico, which was finalized last month. Under U.S. trade rules, the Trump administration was given authority to negotiate a three-way deal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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