Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks in Washington on Tuesday

NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says Canada must make changes to dairy trade with the United States as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for a meeting with her USA counterpart Robert Lighthizer.

The prime minister Justin Trudeau has been clear about its intentions: we do not assign the management of the offer.

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.

Trump argues Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting US farmers, an important political base for his Republican party.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, U.S., August 31, 2018.

"We sent them (the officials) a number of issues to work on and they will report back to us in the morning, and we will then continue our negotiations", Freeland told reporters on leaving the U.S. Trade Representative's office in Washington on Wednesday. He adds that Canada may still have recourse to an alternative, in particular, bring its dispute before the world trade Organization.

Concerned hopefulness seems to be a good description for the many Canadians awaiting the outcome of negotiations to update trade arrangements among the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Freeland was set to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthnizer before heading to Saskatchewan for a Liberal Party caucus meeting and could be returning to the U.S. capital later in the week.

Canada has encouraged overproduction and flooded export markets for milk proteins used in cheese and yogurt, hurting U.S. dairy farmers, Perdue said in an interview aired on Sunday on C-SPAN television.

"And one of the things that I think we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for Canadian and USA workers in the auto sector".

"I think it's something that we obviously have to be aware the president is contemplating".

Trudeau, facing elections in 2019, said on Sunday (June 10) that Canada "will not be pushed around", triggering a fierce attack from Trump and his advisers, on Tuesday (June 12).

Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue meeting with her USA counterpart.

"At the end of the day, we're neighbors", Freeland said. "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior global trade adviser for a Washington law firm.

"We're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win, win, win that we know is there".

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

While President Trump has promised "punitive tariffs" if a deal is not reached, Trudeau says that Canada will not bend to threats. "He's railed against this thing (NAFTA) and they've been at the negotiating table for now over a year".

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