Trump Won't Compromise With Canada in NAFTA Deal

What is the 'new Nafta' and why was the old one controversial?

NAFTA talks have concluded for the day and reports indicate that Canada and the USA were unable to reach a deal.

"There have been no concessions by Canada on agriculture", a USTR spokesperson told AFP, in the first comment from the United States side since talks began Tuesday. This week those meetings continued at all levels.

Talks between U.S. and Canadian officials failed to produce an agreement Friday.

"In addition, for the first time in a United States trade agreement, Mexico and the United States agreed to not restrict market access in Mexico for US cheeses labeled with certain names", the USTR's fact sheet reads.

Here are the next procedural steps to move forward with the deal and the outstanding issues that need to be resolved between the United States and Canada.

Lighthizer's office accused Canada of making no compromises on dairy-market access.

Trump confirmed off-the-record remarks he made to Bloomberg News this week that any trade deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms". This explained the president going ballistic when Trudeau publicly repeated that Canada was insulted by American tariffs. If I say no, then you're going to [publish] that, and it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal.

The Star cited an anonymous source and claimed not to be bound by the agreement to keep the comment off the record.

"They see the quotes as confirmation of suspicions that the Trump team isn't working to make a win-win deal today", he tweeted.

"Still can't believe that Bloomberg violated a firm OFF THE RECORD statement", Trump wrote.

Having sunk the negotiations that he apparently meant to sink anyway, Trump confirmed that he had meant to sink them all along in a Friday afternoon tweet. I am used to it.

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Freeland emerged from the morning's talks just minutes after news of Trump's remarks rippled through the media corps gathered outside the offices of the US trade representative, where the negotiations have been taking place all week.

"We're not there yet", she cautioned. "And they absolutely do bring good faith and goodwill to the negotiating table". That leaves Canada in a very hard position.

"With good will and flexibility on all sides, I know we can get there".

The deal also included stronger labour standards, requiring that 40 to 45 per cent of auto parts in cars sold in the made by workers earning at least US$16 per hour.

"We are not there yet", Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, told reporters on Friday. Such a move, experts warn, would inflict heavy damage on the countries' deeply integrated auto sector.

Issues that have led to discord between the neighbouring countries include Canada's dairy trade rules, dispute-handling mechanisms and patent protections for medicines. "It may be by Friday or it may be within a period of time, but ultimately they have no choice", Trump said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg in Washington as bargainers struggled to resolve critical issues. The Impala is built at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont.

But dairy farmers have major political clout in Canada too and concessions could hurt Prime Minister Trudeau ahead of next year's elections. Trump wanted the comments to remain private.

Where things stand with CanadaWhile Friday's deadline was arbitrary, the notification to Congress does start a countdown clock for US-Canadian negotiations. One Canadian official had told the Star previous to learning of Trump's comments that the USA delegation was not offering "any movement". The TPA has two different 90-day notification steps: alerting Congress to the intent to negotiate, and alerting Congress to the intent to sign a deal.

Dairy products are nearly three hundred percent tariff.

The re-worked NAFTA reportedly removes the dispute settlement mechanism so cherished and needed by Canada; it changes drug patent laws and redefines how many cars will be manufactured in the U.S. To top it off, Trump's position is that Canada can only take the deal if we bend on dairy.

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