Canada heartened by new congressional research report on NAFTA

Canada heartened by new congressional research report on NAFTAā€¯

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland warned that US proposals "turn back the clock on 23 years of predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA.In some cases, these proposals run counter to World Trade Organization rules".

In their joint statement, all three trade officials declared the round a success, but said that the challenge of new proposals and "conceptual gaps" have led them to have "a longer intercessional period before the next negotiating round to assess all proposals". Mexico will host the fifth round of talks in Mexico City from November 17-21.

With this in mind, Canada, Mexico, and the USA intend to allow for a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round begins, so that all proposals can be assessed.

The Canadian government does not share that concern, said the official, who described the relationship on security and defence as being as strong as ever, despite the differences on trade.

Until Tuesday, the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) looked like it might be headed for a quick demise.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland accused the United States on Tuesday of "a winner-take-all" mindset that sought to undermine the agreement and she took aim at US proposals on rules of origin for duty-free trade in autos and for rules on access to markets for government procurement contracts. "Canada believes that too", she said.

"Either trading partners reject them and the talks break down, or Congress rejects them and NAFTA 2.0 doesn't happen", Miller said.

"Economists generally argue that it is not feasible to use trade agreement provisions as a tool to decrease the deficit because trade imbalances are determined by underlying macroeconomic fundamentals", says the 37-page report.

NAFTA ripped down most trade barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The U.S. wants to limit companies' ability to appeal government decisions under NAFTA. That situation, he said, has resulted in the large US trade deficit with Mexico.

"The United States shares strong economic ties with Mexico and Canada".

One trade official told reporters Saturday that "the atmosphere is complicated", and added that his fears about some "pretty harsh, pretty horrible" demands from the United States were coming true.

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said in a news release late today that "renegotiation of NAFTA must include addressing boldly its most flagrant flaw - the impact of the shift of manufacturing and its jobs to Mexico through its rigid structure not only of very low wages, but wages suppressed by a pervasive lack of labor rights". "We can and must support American workers and level the playing field for manufacturing jobs, but not at the expense of farm jobs".

Lighthizer also said he was "surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change" from Canada and Mexico regarding reducing USA trade deficits, a top priority for the Trump administration.

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