U.S.-Canada Trade Talks to Restart Next Week

Trade talks between Canada and the United States ended in an impasse Friday, but will restart on Wednesday, CNBC reports.

According to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump, who had reached a deal with Mexico only days before, informed Congress that he wants to sign a trade agreement with Mexico and possibly Canada in 90 days.

Friday marked the deadline for Canada to join in on the U.S.-Mexico deal, but the two neighboring countries failed to reach an agreement and resolve key sticking points.

“The talks were constructive, and we made progress. Our officials are continuing to work toward agreement,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

President Trump has pushed for a revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trilateral trade agreement which went into effect over two decades ago, and senior administration officials noted that the White House is on track to provide text of a deal to revise NAFTA to Congress within 30 days. The President would then aim to sign a deal within 60 days, the officials added.

However, some lawmakers are uncertain whether a bilateral deal would pass legal muster. What may complicate matters further are President Trump’s comments made privately that he wouldn’t compromise in the negotiations with the U.S. northern neighbor. The President said that he would not publicly state his positions because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal,” the Toronto Star reported.

Trump, who spoke at an event in North Carolina, further noted that “it’s just fine” if the U.S. and Canada didn’t strike a deal but also said that in that case they would “have to tariff those cars coming in.”

Top Canadian trade negotiator Chrystia Freeland said on Friday that “with good will and flexibility on all sides,” the two countries could get a deal. However, she also pointed out that her country would only sign a deal if she believes it is beneficial for Canadian people.

“The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it’s good for Canada and good for Canadians,” she said.

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