Canada welcomes Trump's 'flexible' timetable for NAFTA deal

The Canadian Press

This would leave what experts call a zombie NAFTA. Ujczo was at that conference, then left for a business trip to Canada and was struck by the urgent tone of news reporting suggesting a pullout was imminent.

"It shouldn't be a shock that the hogs were lower today given this information, when almost 30 percent of our exports go to our neighbor to the South", said Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting LLC President Mike Zuzolo.

Freeland said the WTO filing is about the "unfair and unjustified" tariffs imposed, and is "on a quite separate track from the NAFTA negotiations". The next, sixth and past, negotiation rounds are scheduled for January 23-28 in Montreal.

Miller said Trump's views on trade were formed many years ago and he doesn't expect the president to back off from his campaign pledge to scuttle trade deals that have led to the loss of American jobs and resulted in large trade deficits.

Laura Dawson, director of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson's Canada Institute, said there were sharp limits to Ottawa's influence.

"Everybody's for opening a better trade deal, but you don't want to push Humpty Dumpty off the wall", Roberts told TWS. Congressional Republicans, especially those from border states whose economies depend on trade, have urged the Trump administration to modernize NAFTA, rather than risking the economic consequences of ending it.

"The president is getting enormous pressure from within the United States".

On Wednesday, a government source told AFP that Canada was bracing for the possible imminent United States withdrawal from the tripartite trade pact.

In fact, Wood said, he knows of one company that has chose to build a new factory in Europe rather than North America because of the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA. Former cabinet minister Rob Norris said last month that whoever replaces Wall must take urgent action in the face of "troubling storm signals".

In the interim, Trump has requested requested approximately $18 billion for the wall.

But he said raising the amount of NAFTA region content to around 75 per cent from the current 65 per cent is "quite do-able". A White House official, speaking on background, said there hasn't been any change in the president's position on the NAFTA.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the biggest problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement "comes from the North", with Canadian dairy producers dumping low-priced products on the market to compete with Wisconsin farms.

Canadian officials say if Trump does announce a US withdrawal, it could be a negotiating tactic created to win concessions.

"It's time to broach the toughest issues in Montreal", said Castanon.

"I think it would be very bad for Canada as a whole. The momentum is not there".

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