Talks between the United States and Canada aimed at reaching a deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement ended on Friday with no agreement, several USA and Canadian media sources said Friday. The most frequently cited points of deep disagreement included Mexico's bid to safeguard its burgeoning auto sector-Trump's most obvious target-and Canadian resistance to US demands for more access to Canada's protected dairy market and an end to NAFTA's dispute settlement panels. According to the Star, Mr. Trump told Bloomberg News reporters that he could not say this on the record because "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal".
After the talks ended Friday, Trump sent an official notification to Congress that he intends to enter into a trade agreement with Mexico - "and with Canada if it is willing, in a timely manner, to meet the high standards for free, fair and reciprocal trade contained therein". - A free trade deal that is good for all three nations in the North American Free Trade Agreement is within reach, but will require flexibility in negotiations, Canada's foreign minister said Friday.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been leading negotiations for her country, repeatedly dodged questions about Trump on Friday, saying she was focused on dealing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, a lawyer who seldom speaks to media and doesn't personally tweet.
"Off the record, Canada's working their ass off", Trump allegedly said.
The notification is meant to immediately start the mandatory 90-day countdown before an agreement can be formally signed.
One observer said the U.S.is pushing to scrap chapter 19 largely because Lighthizer is deeply skeptical of multilateral bodies - like the NAFTA panels and the World Trade Organization - ruling on American trade disputes.
Perhaps by coincidence or maybe out of necessity, the USA trade representative broke his silence for the first time since Tuesday, saying Canada has not compromised on a key sticking point. -Mexico deal to replace NAFTA, possibly without Canada, said the top US trade negotiator. "I think you would have to look at each cheese on an individual basis", he said when reached by phone in Vancouver.
Alberta leaving federal climate plan over Trans Mountain decision
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the decision validates his city's concerns about marine impacts and Indigenous consultation. In 2016, Canada reached an agreement with all provinces except Saskatchewan to implement a national climate plan.
As word of Trump's off-the-record remarks rippled through the media corps gathered outside the offices of the USA trade representative on Friday morning, a stoic Freeland maintained her diplomatic countenance, saying only that both the Canadian negotiating team and USTR officials were working hard to reach an agreement.
In August, Trump threatened Canada with auto tariffs if the US and Canada can't forge a deal.
In a letter to key figures in the Trump administration, major agricultural groups called chapter-19 an effective and "fair and well-reasoned" mechanism that has gotten "unlawful threats to their market access" struck down in Canada and Mexico.
"My negotiating counterparty is Ambassador [Robert] Lighthizer, and as I've said, he has brought good faith and goodwill to the table". Lawmakers could reject the administration's accord with Mexico on these grounds if Canada isn't part of a final agreement. Canada's 11,280 dairy farmers form one of the country's most influential political lobbies.
The move signaled that talks with Canada had bogged down ahead of the Friday deadline Mr. Trump set for Ottawa to get on board and keep NAFTA as a trilateral deal.
With today's deadline for a new trade agreement between the USA and Canada fast approaching, Canadians are watching with bated breath as the future of North American cooperation, entire sectors of the Canadian economy, and the current Canadian government hangs in the balance. Mr. Trump rejected an European Union offer to eliminate vehicle tariffs if the United States does the same.
"Beyond the headline figure, what will be worth watching out for is any sign that the quality of growth is changing - particularly if consumption slows", Ms Owyong also said.