Trudeau To Trump: NAFTA Deal Is Right There, If Some Demands Are Scrapped

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump talk as they arrive for a family photo, during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy on May 26, 2017.

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


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