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Freeland welcomes Trump's suggestion of NAFTA talks extension

13 Janvier 2018

One of the sources, Raul Urteaga, the head of global trade for the ministry of agriculture, said: "If Trump announces a United States withdrawal from NAFTA, well at that moment the negotiations stop".

A White House official, speaking on background, said there hasn't been any change in the president's position on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In his remarks on Thursday, Trump repeated he was ready to announce a US withdrawal unless major changes are made but said he was "leaving it a little bit flexible" until after the Mexican election.

The sixth round of NAFTA talks will be held in Montreal Jan. 23 to 28.

One day after warning Canadians of the real possibility that the USA could suddenly move to withdraw from the North American free-trade agreement, Ms. Freeland embraced Mr. Trump's new suggestion of patience. Canada is close to closing some "bread-and-butter" business chapters of the trade deal. "We're waiting", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Thursday the implied probability had fallen to 77%, according to RBC Capital Markets, but even that might be too high if there is any truth in Wednesday's reports of concern among Canadian officials.

"Practically half of the topics are ready to be concluded politically, and the other half have made interesting, significant and sufficient progress", said Castanon.

The ministers have offered no details yet on what the preparations for a USA withdrawal look like.

"It's a big agreement and we would all lose, all three of us would lose if we were to pull out", former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills told Bloomberg TV on Wednesday.

She says Canada is prepared to spend as much time as it takes to get a good deal.

Dairy has always been one of the sticking points in Canada-U.S. trade, especially for Ryan's native Wisconsin.

"He wants to at least throw this into doubt and show toughness before the midterm elections", said CIBC Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld. Pro-Nafta groups could challenge Trump's decision in court, arguing he doesn't have the authority to withdraw.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to walk away from NAFTA unless Canada and Mexico agree to major changes Washington says are needed to make the 1994 treaty more fair.

But ahead of a cabinet retreat in London, Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn't comment on the state of re-negotiations. So far he said he wanted to have him on his table for March.

Saskatchewan's premier says he is "greatly concerned" about recent reports suggesting the United States plans to withdraw from a landmark free trade deal that has been in place for nearly a quarter of a century. "Yet, despite the Liberals' campaign promises to be open and transparent, they have left Canadians completely in the dark", said Ramsey.

Freeland welcomes Trump's suggestion of NAFTA talks extension