NAFTA is 'one thing to be improved upon,' says Canada's finance minister

With NAFTA in Question, Could Your Bacon and Beer Be in Danger?

With NAFTA in Question, Could Your Bacon and Beer Be in Danger?

"This decision will support well-paying middle-class jobs on both sides of the border", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

Michael Sabia, chief executive officer of Canadian investment management firm Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, said negotiators should focus more on getting things right than striking a quick agreement.

The Business Roundtable is a Washington, D.C. -based association of chief executive officers of top USA companies.

"NAFTA's moving along pretty well", Trump told reporters January 22 at the White House.

Either way, NAFTA is expected to be the prime topic when Trudeau participates in a roundtable discussion with several USA business leaders in Davos, reports Canadian Press.

Proponents of the agreement, which include agricultural, automotive and other lobbying associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say that duty-free trade under NAFTA gives the three-nation bloc a competitive global advantage. Trade is going to be for the next 40 years.

With President Trump threatening to call time on the 24-year agreement unless progress is made, pressure is mounting for a breakthrough deal but the poultry sector could have a large effect on the final results of the talks. But, U.S. pork would face a tariff of 20 percent when moving into Mexico.

That's a remarkable shift, given the importance of the US market to Canada's economy.

Fast-forward one year later, Trump was back in the Oval Office making another announcement on trade with Asia.

Over the last few months, the United States government has been quieter on NAFTA compared to the initial months that followed Trump's inauguration and the strong pre-election pledge to pull out of trade deals that were not beneficial for the U.S., according to President Trump. "So we want to create a boat where the United States is on board", Alpin says.

Agriculture is a vitally important economic driver that stimulates jobs on and off the farm throughout rural America, which was among the hardest hit by and slowest to recover from the recession.

As detailed by the New York Times today, the 1994 pact's removal of trade tariffs between the US, Mexico, and Canada has led to a free-flowing system in which quintessentially American products like bacon and beer travel through multiple countries before they're eaten. December exports rose 7.9% to $35.82 billion, and imports rose 8.4% to $35.98 billion.

But even as Canadian officials were expressing muted optimism over that development, U.S. President Donald Trump muddied the waters with a mixed message about the fate of NAFTA. "We'll see if the new negotiating situation can create a better economic frame for working families", she said.

But before that and through the weekend, NAFTA negotiators will be mired in talks focused on breaking new ground on some of the most contentious USA proposals, hoping to show enough progress to keep Trump from triggering the agreement's six-month exit clause. The proposal came after the US pitched a so-called sunset clause that would automatically kill the pact after five years unless all three countries vote to extend it.

"The mood is still reasonably constructive", Verheul said.

Cabinet ministers from the three countries in the trade pact are expected to arrive in Montreal in the coming days to help finalize a new NAFTA - if consensus can be reached at the bargaining table.

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