US, Canada to resume Nafta talks today

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington August 31, 2018. — Reuters pic
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington August 31, 2018. — Reuters pic

OTTAWA, Sept 11 — Talks to bridge the differences between the United States and Canada to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement will resume in Washington today, a Canadian spokesman said yesterday.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will again meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the rewrite of the 25-year-old trade deal, Freeland's spokesman Adam Austen told AFP.

The officials have held two weeks of talks but ended Friday afternoon without reaching an agreement that would keep Canada in the three-nation pact.

Washington had already reached a Nafta agreement with Mexico in late August and has informed Congress it intends to sign a new treaty by November 30, including Canada if possible.

But talks still appear to be hung up on US objections to Canada's state control of the dairy market, as well as the procedures for resolving disputes.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said the Nafta talks were “moving along” but again called the trade pact “one of the worst trade deals in history.”

“Canada has been ripping us off for a long time. Now, they've got to treat us fairly,” he told reporters, and again threatened to impose duties on cars produced in Canada.

Following the talks in Washington, Freeland will travel to Saskatoon, western Canada, tomorrow to attend a meeting of Liberal members of parliament, which runs until Thursday, Austen said. — AFP

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