Canada, Mexico, US to begin NAFTA talks next month

Deal oversees more than $1 trillion in trade

Canada, Mexico, US to begin NAFTA talks next month

World Bulletin / News Desk

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States will begin next month in Washington, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced Wednesday.

The Aug. 16 date is the earliest talks could begin, since a 90-day consultation term was called for under U.S. law, Canadian media reported.

Adam Austen, a representative for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Canada welcomed “modernizing NAFTA into a progressive trade agreement”.

Canada has done extensive consultation with industry management and labor representatives, about 450 in all, since U.S. President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to forge a new deal among the three countries that is more beneficial to the United States.

To date, the Canadian government has also received about 12,000 written suggestions about NAFTA, and the consultation process is continuing.

The trade agreement came into effect in 1994 and has led to more than $1 trillion in trade between the three countries, covering virtually all products crossing the borders.

Canada hopes to achieve a quick deal to pacify nervous investors, but Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton said there would be no rush into a “bad deal”.

MacNaughton made the remark Tuesday while briefing Canadian provincial premiers on the coming talks.

Lighthizer said while there is no deadline, “my hope is that we get it done by the end of the year,” Canadian media reported.

There will be some tough bargaining, given the U.S. released its objectives Monday and it detailed how state and local governments should be allowed to stop Canadian and Mexican companies from bidding on certain projects.

The opening is slated to run Aug. 16 - 20 and is the first round of seven sessions to be held at three-week intervals.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2017, 23:56