Trump, Trudeau raise NAFTA brinkmanship, muse about walking away

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump participates in an agricultural roundtable with members of Congress and state in April 2018. Official White House

President Donald Trump may be insisting that the USA will be "better off" without a North American free trade deal that includes Canada, but American unions do not agree-and neither does the tech industry. But Canada's dairy industry - backed by Quebec politicians of all stripes - is adamant that it won't stand for the government allowing the US any more market access, saying it has compromised enough on past trade deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim countries.

Canada and the United States are set to resume negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement this week with President Donald Trump warning Congress to stay out of the process or see the agreement scrapped altogether.

Now, I could be misreading it and it may all blow up but I think a deal will be made and USD/CAD is vulnerable on the downside. USA senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson quickly warned that the agreement needs to better protect the state's agricultural industry, and state Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam said Trump's newly negotiated agreement "wasn't quite the deal we hoped it would be" in Florida. "After that, Congress will have a tough choice to make in terms of going forward with a good deal with Mexico, opening Mexico's agricultural markets as we brace for the long haul with China".

"We continue to work hard", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters camped outside the talks in Washington.

The overall goal is to reach a deal by December 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised NAFTA before Mexico's new president takes office.

Warner said Ottawa could be trying to stress that it's defending a popular issue with Canadians - particularly in Quebec - because it will have to eventually make concessions elsewhere if it hopes to strike a deal.

"We're not going to accept that we have to sign a bad deal just because the president wants that".

If Trump follows through and excludes Canada from NAFTA 2.0, it would raise concerns in Canada, whose economy is heavily reliant on trade with its neighbor.

He called NAFTA "a very stupid deal". Team Trump want to sign an agreement with the current Mexican government, not the one headed by leftist President Obrador that will replace it December 1, and that would be pressured by its supporters to ask for changes.

"We are making good progress".

"I think there are strong constituencies for the cultural exemption, particularly in Quebec... and I think it's something that they can bring home as a likely win", Ujczo said. Mexico is also taking on a leadership role in the Alliance of the Pacific, a grouping of Latin American countries linked by free markets, while Canada past year struck a comprehensive trade deal with the European Union.

American networks anxious that the CRTC's decision reduced the value of Canadian programming because the amount they pay for Super Bowl rights is determined by how much advertising they can sell in Canada, Lighthizer's report said.

The emergence of the cultural exemption as a bone of contention at this stage in the talks surprised those who have followed NAFTA closely.

"You have to be careful about what he says and what he's actually doing".

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump wrote - ignoring the fact that the remarks were reported via an anonymous source by the Star, unencumbered by any such restrictions.

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