Trump hamstrings US NAFTA negotiators, Canada's chief negotiator says

Canada's chief NAFTA negotiator Steve Verheul centre during NAFTA negotiations in Montreal on Jan. 25

Verheul said a US demand that would slash the amount of government procurement contracts for Canadian and Mexican firms "is the worst offer ever made by the U.S.in any trade negotiation". "So they are looking to strengthen the US and by doing that weaken Canada and Mexico within the North American economy", Verheul told an Ottawa conference organized by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

The NAFTA renegotiation survived its sixth round of talks in Montreal, with US trade czar Robert Lighthizer saying enough progress was made to push forward despite American dissatisfaction with some Canadian proposals.

Lighthizer, who has criticized Canada's negotiating posture much more frequently than he has criticized Mexico's, specified that the progress is occurring "particularly with respect to the Mexicans", and he said "we have a number of issues that we still have to work our way through".

Steve Verheul, Canada's chief negotiator, told an Ottawa audience that the United States aimed to weaken Canada and Mexico rather than ensure that the $1.2 trillion trilateral trade pact benefited all three members.

Tuesday's hard-hitting and sobering update from Steve Verheul came on the same day that USA trade czar Robert Lighthizer took another shot at Canada by suggesting more progress on the continental trade pact was being made with Mexico.

President Donald Trump's threat to trigger NAFTA's six-month withdrawal notice remains plausible and Canada is ready for any eventuality, he said.

"If the U.S.is to go alone, not only would North American be weakened, but I think the USA would also be weakened economically".

The U.S. has proposed limiting Canada and Mexico to one dollar of contracts for every dollar in contracts granted by Canada and Mexico to American companies, an idea Canada and Mexico alike have branded a non-starter.

During his first 100 days in office, President Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement unless Canada and Mexico agreed to meet and amend the treaty, and even implied that he would be just as happy tearing the agreement up as he would be amending it.

'Get Out' coming back to theaters for free Presidents' Day screenings
If you didn't see Get Out when it was in theaters, now you have a chance to right that wrong. To see the full list of participating theaters go on www.getoutoneyearlater.com .

Canada will stay at the negotiating table for as long as it takes, Verheul said.

In a speech at the Ronald Reagan presidential library where he is trying to muster support for a renegotiated NAFTA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "if trade between Canada and the U.S.is a bad idea, then there are no good ideas". "We are not interested in a trade deal that would put you in second place and not be fair to Canada", Sessions added. They know their economy will suffer without us.

The shift in attitude doesn't mean lawmakers don't want NAFTA to be updated to include enforceable provisions on protecting intellectual property rights, dairy exports, streamlining customs procedures, labor, e-commerce and energy trade.

"We've made what I would characterize as fairly limited progress overall. the main issue is that we have seen limited USA flexibility, even on fairly easy issues", said Verheul.

Steve Verheul says that's because the talks are moving "a bit too fast".

The memorial would request that the United States government commit to protecting the current investments in the agreement as it negotiates with Mexico and Canada to change the agreement.

"We have no choice but to continue to ... impress on the USA that this can not be a winner-takes-all agreement", he said.

Canada has no position on that because it is not clear what Trump is talking about, Verheul said.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Fox willing to back independent Sky News
Fox, which was founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch , is offering £11.7bn for the 61 per cent stake in Sky that it does not already own.

Ole Miss' Kennedy will step down at end of season
Kennedy has served as the team's head coach for 12 seasons, and will leave as the all time winningest coach in Ole Miss history. Kennedy has a 245-150 career record at Ole Miss, though he only made two NCAA Tournaments in his dozen years at the helm.

OR woman pulls more than a dozen small worms from her eye
CORRECTION: The headline in a previous version of this story incorrectly indicated doctors removed the worms from Beckley's eye. Abby felt irritation in her left eye, which she thought was due to a stray eyelash that might have found its way inside the eye.

YouTube TV Adds Turner Channels, Raises Price
Meanwhile, the expansion comes as the cord-cutting service is raising its monthly fee for new subscribers next month. For premium subscriptions, NBA League Pass and MLB.TV will soon be available for purchase within YouTube TV .

Indian Mujahideen terrorist, teacher in Nepal, Ariz Khan arrested in Delhi
He was also wanted in the Batla House encounter in the same year in which Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed. The expert bomb maker's involved is suspected in 2007 UP blasts, 2008 Jaipur serial blasts and 2008 Ahmedabad blasts.

Yu Darvish, Cubs reach $126 million, 6-year deal
A few key newcomers in the bullpen should also help for a team that has put up big offensive numbers the last few seasons. Even for all that he offers as an effective swingman, Montgomery simply can not compete with that.

Verizon to Begin Carrier Locking New Smartphones
It won't be until later this spring that the lock will be extended "for a brief period of time", the spokesperson said. For most people, this short period will go unnoticed, as few people have unactivated phones for very long.

Ravens to play in Hall of Fame Game
The hall of fame likes to feature teams that have marquee players that played an extended period of time with one team. The Hall of Fame Game will mark new Bears head coach Matt Nagy's first official game in charge of Chicago.

Mike Shula returning to National Football League as Giants' offensive coordinator
Shula, whose father is the legendary former Colts and Dolphins coach Don Shula, and Shumur have not previously worked together. Shula worked as offensive coordinator for the Panthers under coach Ron Rivera during Gettleman's tenure as general manager.

Pained Fans Bash Alvaro Morata After His Dancing Video with Wife
Elements of doubt now hover around Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata and his goal drought and reported persistent back problems. Morata admits he should've alerted club medicos sooner to the pain he was suffering.

Return of Westbrook and Carmelo not enough as Thunder fall to Cavs
The Thunder responded with an 8-0 run to get back into the game but the Cavaliers led 91-87 heading into the final quarter. It was Cleveland's second straight road win against top competition - the Cavaliers rolled past Boston 121-99 on Sunday.

The EU Economy with the Fastest Growth since 2007
The final three months of the year saw exports contribute more strongly to growth than they had between July and September. Gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was also up on the previous quarter.

Susan Rice Email Puts Obama in Crosshairs of Muellergate
The two released a letter with Rice's email and a long list of pointed questions about when it was written, why and so forth. It was paid for by 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, which she controlled.

Bill Paxton's family blames surgeon, world-famous hospital for actor's 2017 death
The complaint added that Paxton suffered multiple complications and that Khoynezhad was not in the operating room at the time. The actor, born in Fort Worth, Texas, was starring in USA broadcaster CBS's Training Day series when he died.

Update turns The Evil Within 2 into a first-person horror game
The Evil Within 2 is also now discounted for 50% off on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you like it, buy it, and enjoy the option views.

Other news