US, Canada fail to reach agreement on NAFTA, talks to resume next week
The United States and Canada have failed to reach a final deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in spite of long discussions this week.
Publish date : Saturday 1 September 2018 10:21
The talks ended on Friday a day after President Donald Trump had told Bloomberg that a pact would be “totally on our terms.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Friday, however, that the "talks were constructive, and we made progress."
"Our officials are continuing to work toward agreement," Lighthizer added.
He said that Trump had notified Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico "and Canada, if it is willing – 90 days from now."
A new NAFTA agreement will not get through Congress unless Canada is included.
The two countries plan to take up where they left off next week on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland also confirmed that the talks toward an agreement would continue, but said "for Canada, the focus is on getting a good deal."
"We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach and that is what we are working toward," she said at a news conference Friday. "We've made good progress, but there's still work to be done."
In the interview with Bloomberg, Trump complained about the way the international trade body had treated the United States.
“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” he said, describing the agreement to establish the body as the “single worst trade deal ever made”.
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly said that he would pull the US out of NAFTA which was signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico back in 1994.
The president described NAFTA as the “single worst trade deal ever approved” by the US, and claimed that it has led to the outsourcing of thousands of jobs from the US to Mexico and China.