Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations

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Freeland to head back to Washington for high-level NAFTA negotiations

Canada's foreign affairs minister says Tuesday's anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States should serve as a reminder of the deep ties between the two countries as they haggle over the future of North American free trade.

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", Freeland told reporters outside the offices of her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

"It is very important to inform" Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in person about the latest developments, she added.

Freeland will spend Tuesday in the US capital before she heads to Saskatoon to attend Liberal caucus meetings that begin later in the day and run through Thursday. A political deadline in Mexico to sign the deal by December 1, plus requirements in American law have put pressure on Canada to join the pact by the end of this month at the latest.

Brian Mulroney says Canada needs to put a little more water in its milk if it expects to make a new NAFTA deal with a hard-bargaining US president whose political fortunes depend heavily on being able to declare victory for American dairy farmers.

The announcement by the US trade representative comes one week earlier than previously indicated.

The Canadian trade leaders, who said the discussions were positive, cordial and that there was good faith on both sides of the negotiating table between the long-time trading partners.

Wiens declined to say what action the organization would take if an updated NAFTA deal gave the USA a greater chunk of the Canadian market, but did not rule out campaigning against ratification of the agreement, or the Liberal government. "There are nearly two dozen chapters closed" in the NAFTA deal including reducing red tape on cross-border trade, he said on Monday.

To the south, Trump's agriculture secretary suggested deeper concessions would be coming from the Canadians over Canada's system of managing supply and prices in the dairy sector.

USA dairy farmers have long demanded more access to Canada's market and also are unhappy about a Canadian decision to allow farmers to sell milk protein products to the country's processors at a lower price, cutting off American supplies. She said she spoke with Lighthizer over the weekend and they agreed it would be useful for them to meet again face to face.

"And one of the things that I think we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for Canadian and USA workers in the auto sector".

"Without Chapter 19, NAFTA is utterly useless as it would subject Canada and Mexico to the vagaries of the USA political system and its courts when determining trade policy actions", said Derek Holt, vice-president at Scotiabank Economics, in a note recently. Trump wanted changes that would destroy family farms across Canada, he said. "I think it will be gone".

It is unclear how long the current round of talks will go on in Washington.

Trudeau replied, "Sorry to disappoint, but we continue to work hard and we are positively optimistic that we can get a win-win-win for all three countries". "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior global trade adviser for a Washington law firm.

President Trump has voiced his willingness to create a separate deal than the one made with Mexico.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars".

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