Freeland postpones United Nations speech as NAFTA deadline looms

Justin trudeau

A auto hauler heading for Detroit, Michigan, drives on the lane to Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, April 28, 2017.

Canada and the United States on Saturday narrowed their differences in last-ditch talks to save NAFTA but there is no guarantee an agreement will be forged, two Ottawa sources said, a notion echoed by a top adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The White House wants his side to sign the new Nafta negotiated with Mexico prior to the taking of office of Mr. Lopez Obrador, the beginning of December.

"We are not going to re-open the negotiation".

"We agreed to that", Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City. Trudeau said "a good, fair deal is still very possible". A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office declined to comment.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo was scheduled to present the text of the August 27 agreement, which aims to rebalance auto trade and modernize parts of NAFTA, to Mexico's Senate at 7 p.m. EDT, Mexican government and Senate sources said.

The U.S. and Canada are under pressure to reach a deal by the end of the day Sunday, when the U.S. must make public the full text of the agreement with Mexico.

Lopez Obrador, widely known as "AMLO", has been actively involved in the negotiations to update the trade agreement.

Ottawa is also seeking assurances that the United States will not, after signing a new NAFTA deal, turn around and hit Canada with punitive auto tariffs.

Among other things, the negotiators are battling over Canada's high dairy tariffs.

Kavanaugh accusations 'all false to me,' but I could change my mind
And he said he may delay their highly anticipated Thursday meeting to avoid distracting from the Kavanaugh hearing. Trump also applauded his work in North Korea and highlighted his positive relationship with dictator Kim Jong Un.

As of Saturday morning, the minister was still in Canada.

"Canada is exceptionally important". The 1994 pact underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade and its demise would be enormously damaging, say economists.

Negotiators - still apart on matters such as dispute resolution and a USA demand for more access to Canada's dairy markets - are also tackling the matter of American tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - Freeland's counterpart at the talks - on Tuesday had complained Canada was not making enough concessions and said time was running out.

Lighthizer has praised the U.S. -Mexico deal as likely to reduce the $71 billion trade deficit with Mexico. He was asked twice if he'd quit the current NAFTA pact, and didn't say.

The remarks by Trump, who repeated a threat to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, knocked the Canadian dollar down to a one-week low against the US greenback. Wyden is from OR, a state that trade more with Canada than Mexico. The United States has said Mexico agreed to eliminate a system of settlement panels to arbitrate disputes over anti-dumping and anti-dumping tariffs.

Ujczo said the two sides have also largely settled on a dispute-resolution mechanism similar to that in the original NAFTA known as Chapter 19 - an issue that has always been a major stumbling block in the talks - and on a higher duty-free threshold for goods shipped into Canada: $100, up from $20. However, it would also upend North American supply chains and complicate life for US automakers. Mexican-made products were hit by both of those actions aimed at protecting USA producers from import surges.

One solution might be to imitate the provisions of the bilateral Mexico-U.S. deal on NAFTA.

"It's a challenging task to figure that out and they're spending a lot of time on that right now", said the third Canadian source.

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