US, Canada trade agreement within reach as Trump piles pressure on Trudeau

US, Canada trade agreement within reach as Trump piles pressure on Trudeau

That said, Dawson says it's not clear how Congress would respond if Trump were to simultaneously give notice this Friday of a bilateral pact with Mexico and termination of NAFTA.

"In my view, Congress will hold the line and give Canada as much time as possible to work out its issues with the White House", he says, adding that "that timeline is not infinite" but better than the few days Trump is now giving Canada to take it or leave it.

"Theoretically, they should not be able to just switch to a bilateral deal at the last minute", she says. They also note that while certain sectors of USA manufacturing were hurt by NAFTA, American consumers and companies - and workers in some industries, like agriculture - benefited from it. "This Friday business is just Trump bullying, which he likes to do". "We are encouraged that negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement to modernize our trade relationships", said American Petroleum Institute (API) CEO Mike Sommers.

"The goal is to make the clock their friend", he said.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told Mexican television on Tuesday the three sides would work for a three-way deal.

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association called the U.S. -Mexico deal a "major breakthrough" and that Canada would inevitably join NAFTA. Nieto would gain a legacy achievement, Lopez Obrador the ability to blame any shortcomings in it on the previous regime.

Lighthizer wants to send a letter to Congress by Friday that would formally begin a 90-day process for reworking the trade deal. On its own, that would make Saturday the deadline for concluding things.

"It seems like a pretty steep challenge to now resolve these issues in three days", said David Wines, a Manitoba dairy farmer and vice president of industry group Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Trump pulled the USA out of the TPP, calling it a bad deal.




Some Republicans in the U.S. Congress called the deal a positive step but said Canada must be part of the new pact to avoid hurting U.S.jobs.

Hufbauer, a former deputy assistant secretary for global trade, goes further, saying the timing requirements set down in the TPA could effectively be waived by the Senate and House of Representatives if they wanted to allow negotiations more time. In Canada, it is a near-$20-billion industry that employs more than 220,000 people. "The text could shift, but not the core of concessions and undertakings".

A key element of the US-Mexico talks was the agreement on content requirements for autos produced in the region in order to qualify for duty-free NAFTA treatment, which Mexico agreed to increase to 75 percent from 62.5 percent.

That means agreement on all substantive points and commitments.

Regardless of the roiling debate about USA trade law and negotiating tactics, Trump's imperiously dismissive tone about Canada today leaves little doubt the Washington-Ottawa relationship is badly frayed. That opens a door for Canada to agree.

In the past, Trudeau has suggested he'd be willing to bargain with Trump on dairy.

While speaking in Northern Ontario, the Prime Minister insisted that while there is a "good possibility" that a fair conclusion to the talks will be achieved by Friday, Canada is "standing firm" on certain concessions. "That being said, there are countless political and practical reasons why this will be a trilateral deal".

Mexico's effort "clears the way for us to have some significant, substantive, and, I think, productive conversations with the U.S. this week", Freeland said.

Sklar couched that by noting this is a tentative agreement without reference to Canada.

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