Canada heartened by new congressional research report on NAFTA

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during the conclusion of the fourth round of negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement in Washington on Tuesday
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19 October, 2017

"Our farmers and ranchers need access to foreign markets to export their goods - otherwise, rural economies suffer and good American jobs are lost", she said. As the Toronto Star reports, just one week after President Donald Trump embraced Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau like a faithful friend, the administration is openly feuding with Canada over NAFTA.

Nafta negotiators are working on a side deal for the U.S., Canada and Mexico to make a non-binding pledge to avoid devaluing their currencies for competitive purposes, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The government has frequently reminded the US that 35 states and nine million American jobs depend on trade with Canada.

The peso has long moved in conjunction with uncertainties over U.S. trade policy, which you can see in the chart shared by Glossop below. Mexico will host the fifth round of talks in Mexico City from November 17-21.

Noting that she was at a bipartisan dinner Tuesday evening at the home of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Heitkamp said she emphasized to Trump administration officials that Mexico and Canada are two of the biggest markets for USA food products.

In the U.S., legislation will expire in July that gives the Trump administration more extensive authority to negotiate trade deals and then submit them to Congress for a simple up or down vote, without amendments.

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Lighthizer made the statement at a news conference he held after he, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal made a joint statement on the conclusion of the fourth round of the NAFTA negotiations. Portman and other lawmakers said that provision, which wasn't part of the main TPP text, didn't go far enough. He expressed frustration that his negotiating partners were not willing to make changes to reduce those deficits.

But companies have built complicated supply chains that straddle NAFTA borders, taking advantage of each country's strengths - such as cheap labor in Mexico and skilled workers and proximity to customers in the United States and Canada.

"This is troubling." Freeland was also critical of ongoing US calls for national content rules, which she said would harm the already well-established, interconnected supply chains of North America's shippers.

Since 2005, the three countries have also made strides on economic and security co-operation, through the North American Leaders Summit - sometimes called the Three Amigos - which began under former president George W. Bush, the report says. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland warned that US proposals "turn back the clock on 23 years of predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA.In some cases, these proposals run counter to World Trade Organization rules".

"We must all understand that we have limits", he said. "Canada believes that too", she said.


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