Monday, 12 November, 2018

Mexico prepared to do a trade deal without Canada, official tweets

Kenneth Smith Ramos Mexico prepared to do a trade deal without Canada, official tweets
Steven Clarke | 16 September, 2018, 01:42

So far, Canada has been unable to obtain a guarantee from the United States that the country would not be hit with punitive US auto tariffs if Ottawa agrees to a new NAFTA deal. Whether Congress is prepared to accept a bilateral deal remains to be seen.

Freeland, pressed as to how much time was left, said her focus was on getting a good deal for Canada.

Other sticking points include Ottawa's desire to keep the 1994 pact's Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism, and Canadian media laws that favor domestically produced content. Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press Talks between Ottawa and Washington remain deadlocked over USA ranking entry to to the heavily apt Canadian dairy market and the capacity forward for the binding Chapter 19 dispute-settlement mechanism, at the same time as Mexico returns to the American capital to hammer out the text of a proposed bilateral deal that Donald Trump says may maybe maybe possibly proceed without Canada.

At the same time, Canadian and USA negotiators are looking to reach an agreement on several bilateral issues, including US access to Canada's dairy market.

As well, there remain deep differences on intellectual property.

Donald Trump has threatened to forge ahead with a deal with Mexico if Canada can't come on board by the September 30 deadline to provide Congress with a preliminary text of an agreement.

He says, "Canada does not want to agree with the United States on the administrative panels for settling trade disputes".

Mexico and the United States announced on August 27 they had reached an agreement following months of grinding talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The U.S. and Mexico are intent on wrapping up the matter before December 1, when Mexico's new president will be sworn in.

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Trump has repeatedly said he'd be perfectly happy to proceed with the bilateral deal without Canada.

Tensions are high between Canada and our neighbours to the south. Trump also stated that he would drop the letter "C" if Canada doesn't agree to the changes he is seeking, according to sources.

Smith Ramos did not give a specific deadline, however, the Mexican administration wants the trade talks dealt with before their next government is sworn in in December.

Guajardo told reporters that Mexico still wants Canada to join the agreement to make it trilateral, saying that would be a "great asset".

If this time frame holds true, Canada and the USA have roughly until the end of November to reach a deal over these contentious negotiations.

While Trudeau has been consulted throughout the 13-month negotiation, the face-to-face meetings with the negotiating team Wednesday suggested there were some big - and potentially politically loaded - issues to settle.

"We have seen various deadlines put forward as markers to work for", he said as he wrapped up a Liberal caucus retreat.

Mexican negotiators are pushing for an agreement to be formally signed by the leaders of all three countries before December 1st, the day Mexico's new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, takes office.

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