Energy Industry Awaiting Details on Tentative U.S.-Mexico Trade Pact

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The United States and Mexico agreed on Monday to a sweeping trade deal that pressures Canada to accept new terms on autos trade, dispute settlement and agriculture to keep the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, emerging Wednesday evening from her second meeting of the day with her USA counterpart, said officials would be working late into the night - and possibly all night - on potential "landing zones" where both parties can agree.

Later Monday, Freeland spokesman Adam Austen said in a statement: "Given the encouraging announcement today of further bilateral progress between the USA and Mexico, Minister Freeland will travel to Washington, D.C., tomorrow to continue negotiations".

The interview took place days after Canada and the US broke off formal negotiations - talks which resumed Tuesday - after the government presented a slimmed-down set of proposals aimed at getting a quick deal.

"There are still a lot of questions left to be answered", said Peter MacKay, a former Canadian minister of justice, defense and foreign affairs who is now a partner at the law firm Baker McKenzie.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that progress in the US-China trade talks was not likely until trade issues with Europe and America's two closest neighbours are resolved. But the Americans have abandoned their demand for a "sunset clause", a deal-breaker for Canada that would have required the agreement to expire every five years and be renegotiated. But "no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal".

He said the Fed will continue to raise interest rates, but noted that the US central bank sees no clear sign of inflation accelerating above 2 percent. But that doesn't do anything to clear up the other sticking points that have clogged NAFTA talks for more than a year, notably including Trump's longstanding demand for better access to Canada for USA dairy exports.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he expected to rejoin his U.S. and Canadian counterparts for trilateral talks later Thursday of Friday.

When a US president intends to sign a trade deal with another country, he has to notify Congress in 90 days, and then Congress must approve it. They've been treated very, I would say, in a rough manner by Canada.

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The US presidents said he meant to terminate NAFTA while he pursues trade deals with Mexico and starts negotiations with Canada . US automakers have opposed raising the North American content requirement, but the United Auto Workers union has supported it.

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But Canada is a dominant exporter of crude oil to the United States: It accounts for 47 percent of the barrels imported to the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"There is a possibility of getting to a good deal for Canada by Friday", Trudeau said.

The U.S. side favours a narrow timeframe for these latest trade talks, pushing for a deal by Friday.

Negotiators have worked for a year to update and rewrite the 25-year-old free trade pact.

"The vast majority of vehicles made in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are above the requirements", said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Following Trump's announcement, Trudeau's office issued a statement saying the prime minister spoke with Pena Nieto on Sunday about NAFTA's renegotiation and "shared their commitment to reaching a successful conclusion to this agreement for all three parties".

In the USA, any law must sustain a waiting period of three months.

Trudeau repeated on August 29 that he will defend Canada's dairy industry. What's the rollback in the other areas, and what does Mexico think they agreed to? Or is all of this simply more of Trump's tough negotiating tactics aimed at wringing concessions from Canada?

But Ottawa could offer USA dairy farmers a small increase in market share as it did with the European Union in a free trade pact past year, in exchange for United States concessions on the NAFTA chapter on dispute resolution. The U.S. -Mexico agreement stipulates a 16-year NAFTA that would be reviewed and possibly extended every six years.

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