Talks intensify between Canada and US with NAFTA deadline looming

Talks intensify between Canada and US with NAFTA deadline looming

The comments also mark a new low in relations between the two leaders. Canadian officials say they never requested a meeting. "We don't have any comment beyond that".

Will Canada and the United States thaw their unprecedented diplomatic chill and reach a deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement by a US-imposed Sunday deadline? Markets and business groups are openly fretting about the damage that a collapse could provoke.

"Most of the big issues are solved with Canada", Navarro said, adding it would be "a great deal for all three countries".

Canadian President Justin Trudeau this week fired back, saying, "Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be", Reuters reported.

Sources say Mexico is fine with the Trudeau government waiting past Monday's Quebec election, because it understands any concession it might be willing to make on allowing greater US access to dairy would be a political bombshell in the final days of the provincial campaign.

That's an important date in the NAFTA calendar: Congress has declared an October 1 deadline for Canada to join an existing agreement between the USA and Mexico in time for a vote on Capitol Hill, and it's also the day voters in Quebec go to the polls. "That's the mother lode".

The two sides are still far apart on major issues such as how to settle disputes and US demands for more access to Canada's protected dairy market.

Trump has already imposed hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, using a section of US trade law that gives him the authority to do so for national security reasons.

Officials in Freeland's office say the minister, who is now in the throes of an intensive, last-stage effort to secure a North American free trade deal, has traded her time slot on the United Nations rostrum.

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The stalled trade negotiations - and Trump's comments - have renewed whispers of personal friction between Freeland and USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer. He has repeatedly said he is ready to walk away from the talks rather than sign a document he thinks is bad.

Earlier, the president-elect of the mexican Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had assured him that there was no deadline in the trade negotiations between Canada and the United States on the modernisation of the agreement.

Details are also expected on an automotive side-letter that preserves the Trump administration's ability to impose global national security tariffs on imports of autos and auto parts, granting Mexico a quota for tariff-free exports to the United States that allows some expansion of production.

"I'm hopeful Canada stays at the table - there's strong support for three countries seamlessly working together", Brady said on Friday.

The official declined to be named because the matter has not yet been made public.

The text needs to be published by late Sunday night - 60 days ahead of a November 30 deadline for President Donald Trump and Mexico's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, to sign the deal before a new Mexican president takes office on Dec 1.

WASHINGTON-Canada and the US have been engaged in "intense" NAFTA talks all week, a Canadian official said Friday, as they strived to reach a deal before the USA and Mexico started an official countdown to the possible signing of a deal that does not include Canada.

The publishing of the text starts a months-long process for Congressional approval that will require a lengthy analysis study by the independent US global Trade Commission and a series of notification periods before an up-or-down vote can occur.

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