NAFTA talks to resume in afternoon after Canada cites 'goodwill'

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump participates in an agricultural roundtable with members of Congress and state in April 2018. Official White House

"It would be a giving up of our sovereignty and our identity and that is something that we will simply not accept", said the Prime Minister in Vancouver.

The North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, underpins $1.2tn of trade between the US, Canada and Mexico.

Sources said both sides want a deal, but cautioned there remain disagreements on key issues, including dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

"I think there are strong constituencies for the cultural exemption, particularly in Quebec... and I think it's something that they can bring home as a likely win", Ujczo said. But, it may be a bargaining chip that could be traded away for something else.

"To me, I think that's why we're seeing more noise around it".

One of the major sticking points in the talks is a so-called dispute resolution system, contained in Chapter 19 of the original NAFTA agreement. Chapter 11 lets investors sue governments and Chapter 20 deals with country-to-country disputes.

"They will report back to us in the morning".

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There are however a number of contentious issues in the U.S.

The battle with Canada is building as the White House also prepares to roll out new tariffs on products from China that make up some $200 billion in annual trade in the most significant batch of duties yet aimed at Beijing.

"If there is a deal, you could see an immediate snap-back in the loonie, assuming that the terms are not overly cumbersome, but the initial reaction will be that getting any deal signed would be positive for the Canadian dollar." he said in an interview.

But Canada also will raise concerns about intellectual property rights, language governing financial services and the value of goods shipped via e-commerce sellers that can cross the border duty-free, they said.

The review panel historically has sided with Canada on the softwood lumber issue. If a deal can't be reached, the president has also repeatedly threatened to impose punishing tariffs on Canadian auto imports.

The president's comments came a day after Democrat Ron Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees trade, criticized the administration for excluding Canada from its Nafta deal.

She added that officials "were given some instructions at this meeting and they will continue to work and our negotiations continue".

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"There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal", Trump tweeted Saturday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian negotiators are doing a good job and are keeping him updated, he said.

Freeland expressed optimism late Wednesday.

He can either push back against U.S. demands and risk being cut out of a continental trade deal, or give in and be accused by opposition parties of capitulating to Donald Trump.

But the talks will be dogged by President Donald Trump's repeated threats to leave Canada on the sidelines and proceed with Mexico, which reached a deal with Washington last week and could sign NAFTA 2.0 as soon as November 30.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to push ahead with a bilateral deal with Mexico, effectively killing the nearly 25-year-old three-country pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.

Lawrence Herman, a former Canadian diplomat who practices global trade law, said in an interview that although things have changed "mightily" since the original deal of the 1980s, the cultural exemption "is critical for Canada" in order to protect Canadian broadcasting, publishing, rules on Canadian content, and support for Canadian performing actors and artists in the recording industry.

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