Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Canada Draws Line in Trade Dispute with Trump

Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to the media as she arrives for the first day of a cabinet retreat in London Ontario on Thursday Jan. 11 2018. The meeting comes a day after the loonie and Mexican peso plunged after reports tha Canada Draws Line in Trade Dispute with Trump
Sammy Stanley | 12 January, 2018, 16:47

The Trudeau government appears to have adopted a good-cop, bad-cop strategy for saving NAFTA - coming up with some "creative" new proposals in response to unpalatable USA demands while simultaneously signalling its willingness to aggressively attack what it considers unfair American trade practices.

Advertisment Liberal cabinet ministers have delivered a collective message that Canada will "stay strong" to defend the country's interests in the face of escalating trade tensions with the United States.

Former Conservative foreign affairs minister Peter MacKay, who monitors the NAFTA talks as a partner with Toronto's Baker McKenzie law firm, said it sounds like the negotiations are quickly falling apart and he questions whether the timing of Canada's sudden change in tone could backfire.

Canada has previously indicated that it is at odds with the US over procedures to settle trade disputes and a USA proposal to insert a five-year "sunset clause", meaning the deal would expire unless it is renewed every five years.

This week, Canada launched a 32-page complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the US, challenging American anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

"I thought that was a sensible suggestion from the President".

"When people see that you're firm, you get respect", he said.

United States hails India's aid contribution to Afghanistan
According to the statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Bajwa received two telephone calls from General Joseph L.

"We need to think about that in the context of making sure that we handle things in a way that we're well positioned for the subsequent negotiation", he said, adding that the two economies are too intertwined to not require further trade talks.

Freeland insisted NAFTA talks are on a separate track from the ongoing dispute with the USA over softwood lumber.

On NAFTA, Freeland said she remains optimistic that a deal can be reached.

Freeland said Canada will enter the sixth round of NAFTA talks, to be held in Montreal Jan. 23 to 28, with a spirit of good will, and says it's "absolutely possible" to have a positive outcome.

NDP trade critic Tracey Ramsey called on Ms. Freeland to clearly outline what the government means by a "whole-of-government" preparation for the potential termination of NAFTA.

But Champagne talked about the "diversification imperative" - trying to expand Canada's trade with Europe, Asia and South America so that it's less reliant on the U.S.

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