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US, Canada making 'good progress' on revised NAFTA

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Donald Trump

Before heading in to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that the U.S. and Canada had worked over the weekend and she was looking forward to constructive talks.

He said on Twitter that "there is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal".

Efforts to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement as a three-country pact are due to resume Wednesday when Canada and the United States sit down at the negotiating table in a politically charged atmosphere.

Under congressional rules for passing trade agreements, the administration must publicly release text of the agreement 60 days before any signing, meaning wrapping up the U.S.

President Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G-7 Summit welcome ceremony in Charlevoix, Canada.

US 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 US$1.2 trillion in trade.

But with the economic fate of workers and industries in three North American countries hanging in the balance, the New York Times piece sparked questions about how the fallout would affect the bump-and-grind of the NAFTA negotiations.

Lighthizer also said American broadcasters operating in border states have complained about Canadian counterparts picking up the USA signals and redistributing in Canada without consent.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly said that hisnegotiating team will defend the country's dairy policies. She said he's pointed to potential negatives as well as positives, while the stressing everything is hypothetical until something is decided.

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A Canada-less deal "is not the ideal scenario, but it's better than ending up without any agreement at all, it's better than living in uncertainty", said Gustavo de Hoyos, the president of the Mexican Employers' Association (COPARMEX).

Flavio Volpe, the president of the Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, said he didn't think the latest bombshell would directly affect the negotiators inside the room. "After that, Congress will have a tough choice to make in terms of going forward with a good deal with Mexico, opening Mexico's agricultural markets as we brace for the long haul with China". "There are a number of things that we absolutely must see in a renegotiated NAFTA", Trudeau said.

During a brief break in the talks, Freeland emerged to say that Canada will stand up for its "national identity" in areas such as media.

Canadian and USA negotiators could not reach a deal to meet Trump's deadline last Friday.

Canadian negotiators are also trying to protect Canada's dairy sector from American demands in NAFTA renegotiations. Free Trade Agreement signed in 1987.

Mulroney orchestrated the original Canada-Free Trade Agreement in 1988, which evolved into the current NAFTA agreement.

But Canadian officials, who note increasing political pressure on Trump from USA business and labour circles to keep NAFTA as a trilateral arrangement, said they were in no hurry. "There is good faith and good will on both sides, and we are continuing to work on this".

Canada and the US remain far apart on several issues including dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

While consumer spending remains strong, corporations are waiting for a decision on NAFTA before making spending decisions, Small added.

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