Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Canada and Mexico optimistic about NAFTA talks despite trade tensions at G20

Canada and Mexico optimistic about NAFTA talks despite trade tensions at G20

Freeland augurs NAFTA review of unfair and illegal US Solar panel tariffs. Still, it was included in the list of countries facing the 30% solar tariff which has "affected businesses and workers on both sides of the border", Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Mexico's president-elect in a letter that a quick renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would bring more jobs for both countries, but warned of a very different route otherwise.

The North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation has been on hold since late spring because of the July 1 Mexican presidential election that will see Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sworn in this coming December.

After reading the letter from Trump out loud, proposed foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard expressed hope that new trade terms can be reached reasonably soon, with all three countries in the agreement.

The United States, Mexico and Canada have been at odds over USA demands to impose tougher content rules for the auto industry, as well as several other proposals, including one that would kill NAFTA after five years if it is not renegotiated. Representatives from Mexico, Canada and the USA are set to meet in Washington on Thursday to resume the trade talks. Canada is fighting trade battles with the USA on numerous fronts and getting ready for new attacks in the future.

"The aim was to strengthen the links between the two most important trade blocs in Latin America", said outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has spent much of the past two years mired in trade negotiations with Trump.

Trump did not mention Canada in his comments.

Trump has spoken against Mexican immigration and trade, and Obrador pledged to put Trump "in his place" during his campaign, but despite this history and their differing politics, Obrador said he is optimistic about their working relationship, Reuters reported.

Trump says that he agrees with four priorities that were outlined by Lopez Obrador in a previous letter.

Paris cited the results of research conducted by Earnscliffe Strategy Group for the Department of National Defence.

The top answer was terrorism at 29 per cent.

He said the answer has less to do with traditional perceptions of threats to national security, and "reveals a more general concern about the impact of the Trump administration on Canadian interests, including our economic interests". It had a margin of error of 2.5 per cent.

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