Canada rejoins talks to stay in NAFTA, deal possible this week

Steel I-beams Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump

America's neighbors to the north were not part of the negotiations.

Donald Trump has said that he could go ahead without Ottawa in the new agreement.

The U.S. -Mexico deal would require 75 percent of auto content to be made in the United States and Mexico, up from the current level of 62.5 percent.

That could be big news for USA property developers.

Talks to overhaul the agreement began a year ago and have proven contentious.

President Trump has been highly critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has complained it effectively sends jobs to Canada and Mexico.

Regardless of the roiling debate about USA trade law and negotiating tactics, Trump's imperiously dismissive tone about Canada today leaves little doubt the Washington-Ottawa relationship is badly frayed. But when trade in services is included, with US exports of $58 billion and imports of $33 billion, it enjoyed an overall surplus of $8.4 billion with Canada.

"What has happened is not that the Americans or the Mexicans have chose to go faster between them, it's just that over the last few months, the Americans have arrived at the negotiating table with requests that specifically targeted Mexico, especially with respect to their proposals in the auto sector", Prof. Even President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador seemed OK with the revisions. We're gonna call it the United States-Mexico Agreement.

"If they would like to negotiate fairly we will do that". "So if they had to compromise on energy, so be it".

"I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest we can do is to tariff their cars coming in".

According to the US-based Economic Policy Institute, about 700,000 jobs have been lost nationwide due to growing trade deficits with Mexico caused by NAFTA.

It's a preliminary deal between the two countries.

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Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, DC, said Trump was "delivering" on promises made during his successful presidential campaign to renegotiate major trade deals affecting USA workers. "The legal authority right now is for a trilateral deal - NAFTA. They're going to work on that very hard", Trump said.

"Canada handled that threat with prudent restraint, praising the U.S. -Mexico "progress" and offering to rejoin trilateral talks this week", the editorial praised.

If there is to be an update of NAFTA, Canada will have to agree to the new provisions announced by the United States and Mexico.

Earlier in the day, a spokesperson for Freeland said: "Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners". However, Freeland's staff preferred "encouraging" to describe what had transpired in Washington.

The Trump administration's Mexico-first approach could also run into problems on Capitol Hill, Levy noted.

But the president made one final error as the conversation ended, telling reporters that it signified a new trade deal with Canada.

In that meeting, Trudeau described the USA actions to raise tariffs on steel and aluminium on national security grounds as "insulting".

At that point the call was finally connected, with Trump able to share the news of his deal with President Pena Nieto.

"We could have a separate deal [with Canada], or we could put it into this deal", Mr. Trump said today.

Mexico agreed to eliminate dispute settlement panels for certain anti-dumping cases, a move that could complicate talks with Canada, which had insisted on the panels.

The deal with Mexico centers on rules surrounding the automotive industry.

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