Senior U.S. Democrats question Trump's U.S.-Mexico trade deal


Trump imposed a Friday deadline for Canada to join the USA and Mexico, which is when the administration plans to give Congress its mandatory 90-day notification of the new trade deal.

After being sidelined from the talks for more than two months, Freeland will be under pressure to accept terms the United States and Mexico worked out on a trade deal announced on Monday.

Later Monday, Freeland spokesman Adam Austen said in a statement: "Given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the US and Mexico, Minister Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations".

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo on why Canada should take part in the trade deal between the USA and Mexico. Herman questioned how that approach could possibly be seen as falling within Trump's authority to modernize NAFTA.

"It will either be a tariff on cars, or it will be a negotiated deal; and frankly a tariff on cars is a much easier way to go, but perhaps the other would be much better for Canada". While Freeland has said Canada would only sign the agreement if it was good for her country, Trump has warned that he could proceed with an agreement with Mexico alone.

The White House is pushing to finalize things quickly so that outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto can sign the treaty before handing the reins over to President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on December 1.

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But details of gains and concessions in the deal were only starting to emerge on Monday, and Trump threatened he still could put tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Canada did not join its neighbors.

There is some urgency as the U.S. seems keen to have the issue resolved before the November midterm elections, and Pena Nieto wants to sign before handing the reins over to Lopez Obrador on December 1.

If talks with Canada are not wrapped up by Friday, Trump plans to notify Congress that he intends to sign a deal with Mexico, but would be open to Canada joining, Lighthizer told reporters on Monday.

"I think they're going really well", Trump said of the Canada talks, saying they were "probably on track" to meet the Friday deadline.

Trump has repeatedly complained about Canada's high tariffs on imported dairy.

A concession on dairy - which is explosive politically in Canada - is one of the few cards the Trudeau government has left to play at the bargaining table after the US and Mexico reached their own side deal on Monday.

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In addition, when asked about the timeline for China, Mnuchin said that the trade disputes are not issues that are going to be resolved in one or two meetings.

But Washington backed away from a strenuously-opposed provision to require the three nations to renegotiate the trade pact after five years.

That comment came shortly after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Larry Kudlow, the director of the president's National Economic Council, said in separate interviews that concessions from Canada on dairy are essential to getting a three-way deal by Friday. Considering the average wage in Mexico is closer to $5 an hour, it's likely those components will be made in the US, or perhaps, Canada, which is where the price increase will likely occur. Freeland said substantive discussions on the issues started Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Trump administration Wednesday of setting its sights on dismantling Canada's supply management system. Instead, the agreement with Mexico extends NAFTA for 16 years but with a review every six years.

The Canadian official cautioned that the NAFTA context is different from the TPP negotiations, but said, "There are a lot of options that involve access and quota and all the instruments we can use to give the Americans what they want".

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