Canada still aiming for intensive NAFTA talks

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President Donald Trump intends to delay signing a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a move aimed at reaching a better deal with Canada and Mexico.

A government official familiar with the plan says now that Mexico's presidential election is done, Ottawa wants to restart talks as soon as possible, even though Trump says he won't sign a new deal until after us voters go to the polls in November. With support for the dismantling of NAFTA negligible, even among hard-core Trump enthusiasts in Congress, many have described the President as being 'filled with hot air'.

"It's our chance to go and celebrate Independence Day with the Americans and demonstrate we're friends", said Bezan.

Talks between Mexico, Canada and the United States to renegotiate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement began in August previous year and are still underway.

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Canada on Sunday imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion of USA products.

But with Trump's inflammatory rhetoric, Canada's retaliatory tariffs against the USA and a leftist, anti-establishment Mexican president about to join the fray, there are some who believe any North American Free Trade Agreement talks may be in long-term limbo. Trudeau's office said the prime minister "conveyed that Canada has had no choice but to announce reciprocal countermeasures" to the USA tariffs.

The front-runner in Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has already said that he would name a new negotiating team for the NAFTA revision.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said that she spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer six times last week and that she wants NAFTA talks to kick into a higher gear this summer. The two discussed "mutually beneficial economic and trading relationship between the two countries", Trudeau's office said in a statement. Phasing out Canadian dairy tariffs would "destroy Canada's dairy production" without actually resolving the U.S.'s production problems, the association said.

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The start time was also pushed back to make it more cocktail party than picnic, said Sarah Goldfeder, a principal at Earnscliffe in Ottawa and former special assistant to two US ambassadors.

In recent months, Trump has frequently attacked Canadian trade barriers on agriculture with a particular focus on dairy.

"The other source of profit might be that they're under less price pressure, less price competition from the American products and therefore they're able to raise their prices".

"I'm going to let you in on a little bit of a secret, however, that this is one test that gets a lot easier with a sip of some good ol' Kentucky bourbon", she joked to the crowd.

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The prime minister has said they've disagreed over Trump's call for Canada to open up its supply management system during NAFTA talks.

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