Trade talks with Canada to resume

Chrystia Freeland NAFTA

U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., issued a statement Tuesday citing "a growing frustration with many in Congress" over Canadian negotiating tactics and suggested Canada could be left out of NAFTA.

Wednesday's talks are not expected to include Mexican negotiators, however, as the USA and Canada continue to work through their sticking points.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Canada's dairy policy, and repeated this complaint on Tuesday afternoon.

Canada, meanwhile, has been pushing back against deadlines declared by the Trump administration - first the end of August, then the end of September.

"We're interested in what could be a good deal for Canada but we're going to need to see a certain amount of movement in order to get there and that's certainly what we're hoping for", Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

While she spoke to reporters on Tuesday, Freeland insisted that the environment around negotiations is one of "good will and good faith", but that Canada is fully prepared to walk away from NAFTA if a deal satisfactory to all parties can not be reached.

"'We love Canada, we love the people of Canada, but they are in a position that's not a good trade position for Canada", he added. "We have been extremely engaged".

"It is our duty - it's my duty - to stand up for the national interest and I will always do that".

"If Canada doesn't come into the deal there is no deal", Donohue told a media breakfast in Washington.

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"They can not continue to charge us 300 per cent tariff on dairy products, and that's what they're doing", he said.

That said, Canadian officials say privately that Ottawa will most likely offer USA producers more access to the market. And Mexico feels their agreement works in Canada's favour on a number of fronts.

The president doesn't seem to be the only American official frustrated with Canada's approach to NAFTA negotiations, however.

The call followed a day of rising tension on both sides, with Freeland insisting that Canada's refusal to sign a bad deal wasn't simply rhetoric, while one of Trump's loyalists in Congress, House majority whip Steve Scalise, issued a statement expressing frustration over how long Canada is taking to join the preliminary deal the US worked out with Mexico last month and warning of Congressional actions if it fails to do so. According to Trudeau's office, the prime minister "reaffirmed his commitment to a deal that works for both countries".

Since taking office, Ford has expressed his support for Canada's supply-managed farm sector, joining Quebec's premier in voicing support for the dairy industry.

That has some trade watchers suspicious that Ottawa may be trying to get past October 1, which is election day in Quebec, as well as a latest congressional deadline.

Washington wants the text of a deal by October 1 so the pact can be signed by the outgoing Mexican administration.

"Rep. Scalise is putting down the marker that these are real deadlines".

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