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Facing new pressures, Canadian negotiators re-enter trade talks with U.S., Mexico

29 August 2018

Today, the US and Mexico reached a tentative agreement that will put in place stronger labor standards, allow for more agricultural trade, and will provide more opportunities for USA businesses to succeed.

Canada is also a large importer of corn, Carlson said.

In addition, the new deal would expire after 16 years with reviews every six years, a senior us administration official said Monday during a briefing.

"It's important for them to get this deal and it's important for us to get this deal".

Stock markets worldwide rose to a six-month high on Tuesday as fears of a global trade war receded after Donald Trump announced a US-Mexico trade deal.

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That is welcome news to farmers, who have faced multiple blows to crop prices this year from Trump's various trade disputes with Mexico, Canada and China.

The move, sought by the United States, puts Canada in a hard position because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had insisted on maintaining Chapter 19 as a way to fight USA duties on softwood lumber, paper and other products that it views as unfair. Freeland has said she stayed in close contact with Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo throughout their summertime talks.

That gives Canadian officials, who were not part of the bilateral discussions, just a few days to sign onto the deal or risk it moving ahead without them. The trade deal is expected to provide security for US companies that invest in Mexico's energy sector, which outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto opened up for foreign investment in 2013, ending 70 years of state monopoly. Currently, 62 percent of parts must be made in the United States, Mexico, or Canada.

Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman described Donald Trump as "the arsonist that becomes the firefighter" when it comes to the president's dealmaking rhetoric. On the surface, this sounds like something Canada can manage.

Another change requires that 40 to 45 percent of auto parts in cars sold must be made by workers earning at least $16 (U.S.) per hour. At one point, Trump mused that simply imposing punishing tariffs on Canadian cars would be easier.

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Trudeau has taken political hits since then for minor lapses like a luxury family holiday visit to a Caribbean island and an ill-fated trip to India, but his biggest challenge to date, just a year before Canadians go to the polls, has come from the leader of Canada's longtime military ally and economic partner.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he believed the United States can reach a trade deal with Canada this week after coming to an agreement with Mexico. Participating in Monday's announcement via conference call, Mr. Peña Nieto, the outgoing Mexican president, said he hoped Canada would rejoin the negotiations. "I am not concerned right now for Canada's position", Bruce Heyman, a US ambassador to Canada under Barack Obama, told BNN Bloomberg television. But it's also shown its hand.

One big question after Monday's announcement is when, if ever, the USA will lift tariffs on Mexican aluminum and steel. That's a potential advantage for Canada.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it could impose duties on that Chinese steel wheels exports, which it said were heavily subsidized.

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Facing new pressures, Canadian negotiators re-enter trade talks with U.S., Mexico