US intent on ending supply management for Canadian dairy: Trudeau

Wall Street traders send Nasdaq to record high following new trade agreement between US and Mexico

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in high-stakes meetings with her USA counterpart this morning in Washington as part of an accelerated search for areas of compromise to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, emerging Wednesday evening from her second meeting of the day with her US counterpart, said officials would be working late into the night - and possibly all night - on potential "landing zones" where both parties can agree.

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

Just a day after talks with a Mexican delegation in the White House that led to a trade deal, Trump insisted to reporters that the country will pay for his campaign promise border wall at the Mexico-United States border.

After more than a year of talks, Mexico and the United States announced a bilateral deal on Monday, clearing the way for Canada to rejoin talks to update 24-year-old NAFTA which accounts for over $1 trillion in annual trade between the three nations.

The tone is becoming increasingly optimistic as the two countries approach a US deadline to reach a deal by Friday, when President Donald Trump plans to notify Congress that he'll sign a pact to replace the 24-year-old NAFTA.

There may be other ways for Canada to conclude a NAFTA deal, however, if this renewed push is not successful over the next 36 hours or so. But in the last five weeks, Mexico City and Washington held talks to resolve their bilateral issues, especially on the auto industry rules, without Ottawa.

However, Trudeau cast the issue in black-and-white terms as he sidestepped a question on Wednesday about whether Canada would be willing to open up its market to more USA dairy.

Trump has repeatedly complained about Canada's high tariffs on imported dairy. Herman questioned how that approach could possibly be seen as falling within Trump's authority to modernize NAFTA.

The U.S. and Mexico have apparently agreed that 75 per cent of the content of cars sold must come from the U.S. or Mexico.

"I think it is fair to say we'll do a rebalancing", Lighthizer said.

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Experts don't expect that the changes proposed in the preliminary deal between Mexico and the United States to upset Canada. If after the review there is no consensus to renew, a review will be conducted every year until disagreements can be worked out and the parties agree to then renew for another 16 years.

"I think that what they probably need by Friday is some indication from Canada to the Americans that it's ready to play ball, that they're ready to negotiate in good faith", said Mark Warner, a trade lawyer with MAAW Law, which specializes in Canadian and USA law.

"It's much better for Canada than earlier in the negotiations when they were saying that there had to be a certain amount of American content".

Trump and Republicans in the U.S. Congress up for re-election in November want to ensure farmers and other voters whose jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico that the deal is sealed. 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.

"We recognize that there is a possibility of getting there by Friday, but it is only a possibility, because it will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada" he said at a press conference in Ontario.

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said in a note that the deal "raises more questions than answers for Canada" and leaves the country in a hard situation.

The White House has said Trump will sign the deal 90 days after notification.

That would pave the way for tariff-free access to the Canadian market by the much larger American dairy and poultry market.

Indeed, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a June visit to Prince Edward Island that "it's not our desire to do away with" Canadian supply management. "Either we're going to be trading partners or we're going to fight".

"I think this is an extremely historic time", Lighthizer said Monday on a call with reporters.

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