WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reportedly told President Donald Trump that a NAFTA agreement is imminently within reach as long as some controversial demands are set aside.
That high-level conversation occurred in the midst of what many insiders view as a last-ditch push for a renegotiated agreement before impending political events pause the process until next year.
The characterization of Trudeau’s message to Trump came in a television interview in Mexico: the economy minister in that country revealed some details of the leaders’ chat earlier this week.
When asked about his conversation with the U.S. president, Trudeau confirmed that he views a renegotiated pact as promptly attainable and publicly repeated a similar message.
“There is very much an imminently achievable outcome that will be good for the United States, good for Canada, good for Mexico — and we’re very close,” Trudeau told a Calgary news conference.
“We will continue in the coming days to work hard to try and get there. We know that a deal is not done until it’s done. And we’re going to continue to remain optimistic and hard-working on trying to get this settled.”
Asked whether he asked the president to pare down his wish-list, Trudeau said: “We’re pushing defence of our own interests, but highlighting that it’s very possible to have a win-win-win.”
The countries are attempting to set up one more ministerial round this week, after which it may become too late to meet the U.S. procedural deadlines required for a vote before the midterm elections bring in a new Congress.
All three countries have some interest in wrapping up a quick deal: Canada to calm jittery business investors, Mexico to close the file before its presidential election and the U.S. to provide stability for struggling agricultural exporters.
They are swimming against a tide of unresolved issues and even competing agendas; insiders say there are mixed opinions within the U.S. administration on the value of additional rounds this week.
Months of efforts to close out the No. 1 issue of automobiles has left a host of other irritants unfinished — including dairy, pharmaceuticals, dispute resolution, public contracts and the U.S. demand for a five-year sunset clause.
Mexico’s lead minister says he doesn’t see a deal wrapping up by this week’s supposed target date. U.S. lawmakers say that if a deal doesn’t happen by Thursday, they won’t be able to schedule a vote this year and it’s possible the next Congress will …
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel