Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks on Tuesday as time runs short


US President Donald Trump also said the talks, which both countries intensified in recent weeks, were coming along well. Freeland is scheduled to attend the Liberals' caucus retreat Wednesday in Saskatoon and it's unclear whether she will return to the US capital late in the week.

On Friday Freeland told reporters the 13-month-old NAFTA talks had entered a "very intense" phase of "continuous negotiations".

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 NAFTA pact, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade.

Teamsters Canada represents the interests of 125, 000 workers in all sectors of activity, including 5000 in the dairy industry.

Trump has warned he could try to proceed with a deal with Mexico alone and levy tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Ottawa does not come on board, although USA lawmakers have said ratifying a bilateral deal would not be easy.

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However, Trump hinted that the Friday deadline may be flexible, saying that a deal with Canada may come that day, or "within a period of time".

"I spoke with Ambassador Lighthizer over the weekend", Freeland said. "It appears as if there is not a whole lot of momentum right now".

In return for concessions on dairy, Canada could request US concessions on the so-called Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism that allows Canada to combat USA anti-dumping duties that Ottawa regards as unjustified.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that Mexico had agreed to eliminate the mechanism.

"Sure, it's business and it's important, but Gander is the place that - in a snapshot - illustrates the Canada-U.S. relationship". "There is progress made".

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Mulroney, the former prime minister widely considered the father of the modern era of North American free trade, held court Tuesday in Ottawa on the fate of the intercontinental trade pact as talks to modernize NAFTA resumed on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, he said, Mr. Lighthizer is far more eager to dismantle this dispute-settlement provision.

"Prime Minister Trudeau is right in that no deal - and waiting for more reason in future - is better than permanently signing onto a feature that guts NAFTA", Holt said. Canada and the U.S.

He said, however, it was wrong for Canada to have publicly declared it would not accept concessions on certain files.

Freeland said the memorials should help to add some context to the ongoing negotiations on free trade that were started at Trump's behest.

She said the talks were at a point where discussing them face-to-face with the prime minister "is absolutely essential".

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Experts note that the desire to make a trade deal happen is influenced by upcoming political events, including the US midterm elections in November, a transition of presidential power in Mexico in December and next year's Canadian election.