Canada and the United States will make a final push to iron out differences on a pact to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Friday, with Mexico on standby to return to talks aimed at ending a year of hard-fought negotiations.
The U.S. -Mexico deal reached earlier this week does away with the Chapter 19 panels, leaving U.S. trade complaints against Mexico to be settled in U.S. tribunals or at the World Trade Organization, although Mr. Trump threatened this week that he might pull his country out of the WTO altogether.
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".
Trump said in a Bloomberg interview: "Canada's going to make a deal at some point".
Trump, according to the Star report, said he frequently reminds Canada that if necessary he will slap painful tariffs on auto imports. "Actually fixing NAFTA requires reaching a trade agreement with both Mexico and Canada that improves the wages, the working conditions and the well-being of America's workers and farmers", Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said.
After the United States and Mexico reached an agreement on new rules for auto trade, and tougher protections for workers and intellectual property, talks with Canada were hung up on the mechanisms used to resolve disputes among partners, and on Ottawa's strictly controlled dairy sector.
Trump must notify Congress 90 days before signing the pact, which will need the approval of lawmakers.
Despite missing Friday's deadline, U.S.
Dairy in particular appeared to be a stumbling block in the negotiations on Friday, with U.S. officials saying Canada had made no concessions on agriculture and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying he was standing firm on the issue.
"The trade-positive news in the beginning of the week with the US-Mexico deal has turned, and has become trade-negative", said Alfonso Esparza, currency strategist at OANDA in Toronto.
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"Prices go up", said Kristin Dziczek, an expert at the Center for Automotive Research in MI.
"There have been no concessions by Canada on agriculture", a USTR spokesperson told AFP, in the first comment from the USA side since talks began Tuesday.
As the NAFTA talks churned toward a dramatic climax Friday, one of the biggest stumbling blocks was reportedly Canada's fight to save a dispute-resolution section that American negotiators wanted killed.
The U.S. Congress must now grapple with the mix of technical issues and political calculations generated by Trump's new tactic of pushing for a possible Mexico-only deal. Mexico didn't get any reprieve in its own agreement on Monday.
Mr. Trudeau's team balked, saying that the US was not negotiating in good faith. "We're not there yet", Freeland told reporters after days-long talks wrapped up without a deal.
But with Donald Trump driving the agenda for the American side of the bargaining process, some experts warn that the uncertainty generated by the negotiation of a new North American Free Trade Agreement will ultimately hurt consumers.
Opening a small percentage of the Canadian dairy market to USA imports would allow Mr. Trump to declare a political victory without causing serious damage to this country's milk sector, especially if Ottawa compensates farmers here. He followed up Saturday morning with another Twitter jab: "I love Canada, but they've taken advantage of our Country for many years!" he wrote.
One sticking point for Canada is the USA effort to dump the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution mechanism that hinders the United States from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.
The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that increased trade due to NAFTA supports five million jobs in the US.