Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her negotiating team are back at the U.S. Trade Representative's office Thursday morning as intense negotiations resume toward a revised North American Free Trade Agreement.
"When it comes to specific issues, we have a huge amount of work to do this week at the ministerial level and also officials are really grinding through extremely intensively", the minister said as she emerged from her first meeting of the day with Lighthizer.
Companies are now required to ensure that 75 percent of auto content is made in the U.S. and Mexico, up from the 62.5 percent requirement under NAFTA, according to a statement by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). That won't come without costs, but now we have a better idea of what they are.
The ball is now in Canada's court after the United States and Mexico reached an agreement including a compromise on the controversial auto sector, higher wages for Mexican workers and a provision to review the accord every 6 years.
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"We believe this is a positive development for Canadian auto parts suppliers since the North American automotive industry will stay intact, and Mexican assembly plants will need to source parts from high-wage jurisdictions such as the USA and Canada", BMO Capital Markets analyst Peter Sklar wrote in a note to clients.
Freeland is expected to travel to Washington for talks Tuesday, spokesman Adam Austen said. Green cited an API report from 2017 that asserted NAFTA supported 10.3 million USA natural gas and oil industry jobs, while also providing benefits to consumers, energy security and open markets. The White House has said it would give notice Friday.
"My position on defending supply management hasn't changed, we will defend supply management", Trudeau told reporters in Montreal Tuesday.
The White House is pushing to finalize things quickly so that outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto can sign the treaty before handing the reins over to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on December 1.
One of those has been the continuation of a dispute settlement process - we call it Chapter 19 - that has existed in the NAFTA and existed in the Canada-U.S.
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"There has been some very positive progress, particularly on autos". At one point, Trump mused that simply imposing punishing tariffs on Canadian cars would be easier.
"Yeah, the wall will be paid for very easily, by Mexico", the president said. Canada wants to keep the chapter strong, while Americans insist that it undermines US sovereignty and negotiating capabilities.
"We have been encouraged by the progress made by our NAFTA partners over the past weeks", Trudeau said.
"This was an important step to moving forward on renegotiating and improving NAFTA". US law requires a president to formally get Congress's approval for trade negotiations. "We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class".
The terms of the U.S. -Mexico deal are still being interpreted and there are many unanswered questions, especially on measures to settle disputes.
Trump, who has called NAFTA a "rip off" for the US, called Monday's announcement a big win.
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