News Worms
News Worms

Canada prepared for every eventuality in NAFTA talks - including their collapse

Canada prepared for every eventuality in NAFTA talks - including their collapse

If the United States decides to leave NAFTA it would be "especially bad" for Windsor-Essex, but border expert Bill Anderson says Canada is talking tough and pushing back hard in trade negotiations.

Canada will host the sixth and potentially make-or-break round of NAFTA talks later this month in Montreal.

One of the sources, Raul Urteaga, the head of global trade for the ministry of agriculture, said: "If Trump announces a USA withdrawal from NAFTA, well at that moment the negotiations stop". Notice of withdrawal could also raise opposition in Congress.

A Canadian source familiar with the talks said officials had been talking informally for weeks about the possibility of suspending the process this year but stressed no decisions had been made.

The Canadian dollar steadied against the greenback on Thursday after hitting a almost two-week low earlier in the session as investors weighed chances of a Bank of Canada interest rate hike next week and anxious about NAFTA.

Mike Archibald, associate portfolio manager at AGF Investments in Toronto, cited "a tremendous amount of uncertainty on the horizon".

"Millions of jobs depend upon trade between our three countries".

Mexico's currency also weakened and stocks extended losses.

US stocks fell slightly after the Reuters report and the chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab was quoted as saying the USA pulling out of NAFTA would represent a risk to the markets.

"It's a muddle", said Scott Miller, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, in describing the state of NAFTA negotiations.

Royal Bank of Canada's Chief Executive Dave McKay said on Tuesday he believed there was now a greater chance that NAFTA could be scrapped.

TOP NEWS: Canada Preparing For US To Pull Out Of NAFTA Trade Deal

During that period Canada was the fourth-largest USA pork destination in both volume and value, with total shipments from the United States at 190,592 metric tons worth $723.4 million, said USMEF.

Separately, a US source close to the White House quoted Trump as saying "I want out" as the talks drag on with little sign of progress.

Among the issues the three NAFTA partners have been unable to agree on are proposed changes to the chapter on dispute settlement, the inclusion of a so-called "sunset clause" that would subject the deal to review every five years, and the automotive sector trade deficit. His negotiating team has set proposals that have alarmed their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

Freeland insisted NAFTA talks are on a separate track from the ongoing dispute with the US over softwood lumber.

President Donald Trump reiterated his threat to withdraw the US from Nafta while saying that gains from a new deal could be used to pay for a wall at the Mexican border.

General Motors Co shares fell 2.4 percent.

Freeland said on Thursday that Canada had come up with some creative ideas in a bid to unblock the talks. Mexico has previously said it would walk away if Trump formally announced Washington meant to quit.

Canada is upset at US tariffs imposed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, newsprint and an nearly 300 percent duty on Canadian aerospace Bombardier CSeries aircraft.

The parties are hoping to wrap up the talks in the first quarter of 2018.

Yet, as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made clear at the cabinet retreat in London, Ont., on Thursday, Canada's position has softened.


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