Mexico trade deal text to exclude Canada, irritating U.S. lawmakers

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Analysts and insiders say the latest American-imposed deadline for Canada to join by Monday is not set in stone, and that there is still time for the Liberal government to negotiate with the Trump administration after that.

The release of the trade deal text starts a months-long process for US congressional approval that will require a lengthy analysis by the independent USA global Trade Commission and notification periods before an up-or-down vote.

Freeland, who is in NY to give Canada's marquee speech Saturday to the United Nations General Assembly, was on a conference call Friday night with negotiators in Washington, who have been engaged in intensive talks all week, a source familiar with the effort told The Canadian Press.

The Trump administration had threatened to proceed with a Mexico-only trade pact as US talks with Canada foundered in recent weeks amid deep differences over Canada's support for its dairy market and a mechanism for settling trade disputes.

"We're focused on the substance, not the timetable".

But Hufbauer says Trump's public put-down of a close ally's trade negotiators was an unprecedented affront, and the presence of tensions nothing unusual.

But they caution the window is closing and Canada's time may be running out.

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The United States and Mexico are due to release the text of their trade agreement on Friday, increasing pressure on Canada to join its partners in revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement while Mexico's president-elect said he would insist on a trilateral pact.

The United States and Mexico want to push their deal through their respective legislatures before Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office on December 1.

A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office declined to comment on the status of the U.S. -Mexico text and the talks with Canada.

"I'm hopeful Canada stays at the table - there's strong support for three countries seamlessly working together", Brady said on Friday.

Guajardo said his USA and Canadian counterparts "specifically requested" a delay in publishing the text.

"In the next 48 hours we will know if we are going to get to a trilateral text or if we are going to have to put forward the text of the bilateral agreement", Guajardo said in televised remarks to the Mexican Senate. "If not, then the process gets more complicated, but it's also possible to come in ... some days after", Perez Jacome said.

Although U.S. lawmakers said they expected that text to completely exclude Canada, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has made clear Ottawa could sign on later. -Mexican deal or Washington and Ottawa could reach their own bilateral arrangement, according to trade experts. Even though Canada and the USA are at loggerheads, negotiations may continue. "There's a potential landing strip in all of the negotiated areas". "On the Canadian side, we are hearing the exact same phrase". "The end could be this weekend, or it may not be", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations.

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Trudeau also contradicted Trump's account, from the same Wednesday press conference, that he rejected a request from the prime minister for a meeting to discuss NAFTA while they were in NY this week for the United Nations General Assembly.

President Donald Trump claimed he snubbed a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations this week.

"It's a deflection from a number of different problems", she said.

Trump then reiterated his threat to slap punitive tariffs on Canadian auto imports to the USA, a tactic experts on both sides of the border have warned would devastate the industry.

Including Canada, U.S. companies' top export market, is considered essential to making a political and economic success of any new North American trade deal.

Mexico also secured an exemption from U.S.

"That's going to make it very hard to sell a deal at home".

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