NAFTA session with Canada breaks off after Trump 'so insulting' remarks

01 September, 2018, 17:41 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • US President Donald Trump

The Toronto Star first reported the remarks, and Trump confirmed them Friday. And on August 31, Trump posted an indignant tweet attacking Bloomberg News for using comments that-Trump alleges-were made off the record during a recent interview.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED".

After Trudeau spoke with regional leaders, they appeared to soften their tone in defense of Canada's protected dairy sector, suggesting a compromise may be in the works that would grant the USA greater access to the Canadian milk market. "And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala", Trump said. By then, Trump really needs Canada signed on, or it will be politically - and legally - tricky to move things through on his preferred timeline.

"My negotiating counterparty is Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer, and as I've said, he has brought good faith and goodwill to the table".

Indeed, Trump sent a letter to Congress as U.S.

Having sunk the negotiations that he apparently meant to sink anyway, Trump confirmed that he had meant to sink them all along in a Friday afternoon tweet.

Canada was also insisting on keeping the NAFTA cultural exemption that allows Canadian governments to maintain a system of subsidies and regulations created to support "Canadian content" over foreign content.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to make an announcement on the state of the NAFTA talks at 4:30 p.m.at the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Despite the United States president's comments, and the failure to smooth over differences as of yet, the top United States trade official, Robert Lighthizer said that progress had been made.

Freeland emerged from the morning's talks just minutes after news of Trump's remarks rippled through the media corps gathered outside the offices of the US trade representative, where the negotiations have been taking place all week.

Having just reached a trade agreement with Mexico, the Trump administration is putting trade negotiations with China on the back burner for now.




"And as you know, we are working-unrelated to this (U.S. -Mexico trade deal)-we're working very much with other countries".

Throughout the day Friday, it became increasingly clear that Canada and the US would be unable to reach an agreement.

Representatives for Bloomberg did not immediately return a request for comment.

Lighthizer has refused to budge despite repeated efforts by Freeland to offer some dairy concessions to maintain the Chapter 19 independent trade dispute resolution mechanism in NAFTA, The Globe and Mail reported on Friday.

Although Trump has threatened to leave Canada on the sidelines and proceed with a trade deal with Mexico alone, trade experts say the White House lacks the authority to substitute a two-party deal. Mexico didn't get any reprieve in its own agreement on Monday.

"We don't use it as much as people think, it's not as effective as people think", said Toronto-based trade lawyer Mark Warner, who argues that Chapter 19 may not be worth fighting for.

President Donald Trump has frequently criticized Canada's high dairy tariffs and insisted the USA will demand changes.

If a new NAFTA were to eliminate Canada's protectionist supply management system - something Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vigorously opposed - prices of dairy products would fall under the pressure of increased competition from south of the border, Lilly explained.

Later, at an unrelated event in North Carolina, the president professed his admiration for Canada.

"We continue to be in the process to work with Canada in terms of whether they want to be part of this historic agreement, but certainly that remains our intention", the official said in a call with reporters.

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