Trump calls for a fair trade deal with Canada

NAFTA agreement written on signpost in mountains. Negotiations concept. Withdrawal concept

According to the White House pool report, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday that trade negotiations with Canada are "intense".

Canada's cultural exemption was absent from the Trump administration's list of negotiating objectives released before the start of the talks.

A revamped continental trade deal must include a dispute resolution mechanism, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, pushing back on United States demands to get rid of binational panels to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

"We are making good progress", she said.

Trump's frustration spilled into the open over the weekend as he railed against Canada on Twitter - as well as its many supporters in both political parties. In off-the-record comments in a Bloomberg interview last week that subsequently became public, the president boasted that any new deal would be "totally on our terms". If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Nor had it made much of a ripple in public discussions on NAFTA, except during some testimony at a few US hearings, experts say.

Congress must approve any rewrite of the deal and could refuse to endorse an agreement that excludes Canada. "If it doesn't work out ... that's going to be fine for our country", he said Wednesday.

But Congress makes the trade rules in the form of trade promotion authority.

Still, many experts say that while the North American partnership won't come out of the current shaking of its foundations unscathed, they are confident that the economic ties and shared values are strong enough to withstand the current buffeting. "He only escalates. He only ups that ante".

He put pressure on Canada to join the U.S. -Mexico deal, but after fresh talks restarted last week Ottawa and Washington have so far been unable to reach an agreement.

Trump could face resistance from Congress, which is unlikely to back any deal that doesn't include all three NAFTA partners.

He can either push back against United States demands and risk being cut out of a continental trade deal, or give in and be accused by opposition parties of capitulating to Donald Trump.

The North American vehicle industry is a sum of parts made and assembled in Mexico, the US and Canada.

As the two sides met for talks, new economic data showed that the USA trade deficit with Canada continues to grow, hitting $3.1 billion in July, potentially providing ammunition to Trump who has accused Canada of "cheating" Americans.

In a statement Wednesday, the Bank of Canada said more hikes should be expected thanks to encouraging numbers for business investment, exports and evidence that households are adjusting to pricier borrowing costs.

National Post: "From cars to medicine, uncertainty of NAFTA deal means consumers lose out, experts say" - "Under nearly any normal circumstance, the negotiation of a trade pact between countries should result in benefits for consumers, say experts who are closely watching the North American free trade talks unfold in Washington".

The time is coming when Trudeau and his cabinet will need to be explicit about whether Canada will walk away from a bilateral agreement with the protect domestic dairy farmers.

The process, which focuses on whether the relevant duties were imposed in a manner consistent with law, notably has been used to adjudicate Canadian complaints about duties that the United States imposed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, a chronic irritant in trade relations between the neighbors.

The ascent in the US Dollar Index (DXY) looks to be stalling despite persistent worries about global trade, weak emerging markets and the NAFTA talks between the US and Canada.

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