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Toomey: US-Mexico Deal Needs Canada On Board For 'Fast Track' Option

01 September 2018

Following Trump's announcement, Trudeau's office issued a statement saying the prime minister spoke with Pena Nieto on Sunday about NAFTA's renegotiation and "shared their commitment to reaching a successful conclusion to this agreement for all three parties". John Barrasso (R-WY), a member of the committee on Energy and Natural Resources, told CNBC that he would "rather not" see a revised NAFTA come to Congress for its approval. While nothing can be taken for granted with Trump, they provided some insight into USA administration's thinking moving forward. And he joins us from Ottawa this morning.

But he added that there are reasons to be cautious about the trade deal, noting that the new agreement is still "more protectionist than the NAFTA status quo".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is headed to Washington on Tuesday to restart talks to replace the three-way NAFTA pact.

Canadian and USA negotiators have a number of differences they need to resolve, including disagreements over dairy policy, the process for resolving trade disputes and intellectual property protection rules.

"The new agreement will push production costs higher on Mexican products - parts and vehicles - which, eventually, will be paid by American consumers", Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader, told the Detroit Free Press. For Canadian interests, that's an essential.

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Freeland cancelled her trip to Europe this week to return to the NAFTA bargaining table after the USA and Mexico agreed on numerous trade issues throughout their bilateral, summertime talks.

Canada "wants to be part of the deal, and we gave until Friday, and I think we're probably on track", he said. "It's important for them to get this deal and it's important for us to get this deal". Possibly. But of the roughly 30 chapters in NAFTA, about 10 remain completely outstanding.

"I would be surprised if it was wrapped up this week", said Gary Hufbauer, a former USA government trade official and fellow at Washington's Peterson Institute of International Economics.

The deal must be reviewed by Congress and can not be finalized until at least November. Therefore, it seems to me that Trump has moved hastily to finish these talks because of not wanting to have to speak to another leader. President Trump has called Prime Minister Trudeau weak and dishonest. On Tuesday, Trudeau said he would defend Canada's dairy farmers. Is this an opportunity to settle some of that down a bit? "You know what? I love Mexico too".

"For one thing, we're going to get rid of barriers and we're going to open up markets, and it's going to be great for farmers". On Tuesday, he released a return analysis of Linamar, Magna, Martinrea and Exco Technologies shares, looking at where they would trade if the NAFTA situation ended with a "constructive deal conclusion".

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President Trump has set a different tone.

The Canadian team could be more amenable to the talks now that the United States has backed away from a controversial and strenuously-opposed provision to require the three nations to renegotiate NAFTA after five years.

However, the Financial Post reported that Freeland said earlier Wednesday, "When it comes to specific issues, we have a huge amount of work to do this week at the ministerial level and also the officials are really grinding through extensively".

Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, which represents General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, said the group was optimistic about the new deal, though it was still reviewing the details.

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Toomey: US-Mexico Deal Needs Canada On Board For 'Fast Track' Option