Canada's PM sees possibility to build on U.S.-Mexico NAFTA deal

U.S. all but certain to miss weekend deadline to include Canada in three-way NAFTA deal

U.S. all but certain to miss weekend deadline to include Canada in three-way NAFTA deal

The Trump administration soon plans to present to Congress a text of the U.S. -Mexico trade agreement that was announced last month to revise portions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Lighthizer said at an event in NY on Tuesday.

"That has been something that he has said a few times".

On the other hand, should Canada decide to join the agreement, the Canadian dollar could go significantly stronger.

The U.S. steel industry continues to operate below its capacity, so the Trump administration believes these tariffs protect domestic jobs. Both the USA and Mexico have said that they will move forward without Canada if necessary.

As the NAFTA negotiations are wrapping up, and after a successful renegotiation of the US-South Korea free-trade agreement, the Trump administration's focus appears to be shifting to trade talks with Japan.

The US administration has recently turned up the heat on Canada, trying to push for a concluded deal by this Sunday or else Canada risks being left out of a revised NAFTA agreement. The Congress, however, may not approve the revisions if Canada is not to be included in the deal. A broad range of paths are ahead of us.

Trump is serious about renaming NAFTA, possibly to the U.S. -Mexico-Canada pact, or USMC, said Lighthizer.

Whether Congress will pass a deal that doesn't include Canada remains unclear.

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The ambassador made the comment at a Toronto event hosted by Politico, during which he fielded numerous questions about the state of the NAFTA negotiations.

Asked to rate the likelihood of Canada meeting this weekend's deadline for a deal, David MacNaughton answered it was about a five out of 10 chance, suggesting it's unclear the US wants to do what it takes to have a deal, including lifting these USA tariffs.

During a question-and-answer session on the sidelines of the United Nations event in NY yesterday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Canada and the U.S. have to get a NAFTA deal done and "then we'll turn to steel".

Canadian officials have said, on condition of anonymity, that they are pushing for tariff protection to be part of the deal.

Asked if a good deal is possible, even if the USA moves on this week with Mexico alone, Trudeau said, "We will keep working on a broad range of alteratives".

Mr. Lighthizer's comments, however, added some nuance: If Canada doesn't reach an agreement on NAFTA, he said, the US still intends to negotiate a later deal rather than shred the free-trade pact entirely.

I'm doubtful on that because Lopez Obrador has clearly given the current negotiators some instructions but it's something to think about. He's a strong proponent of domestic economic development. "If Canada comes along later, then that's what will happen".

"You can't have it both ways", he said.

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