Perdue Says NAFTA Must Include Dairy Fix

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Washington, Sep 11 The US and Canada will resume high-level talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Freeland said she spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the weekend after their talks ended on Friday, and their teams have had "a lot of contact" since then. The governing Liberal Party is holding its caucus retreat in Saskatoon on Wednesday and Thursday and it's not known whether Ms. Freeland will pause negotiations after Tuesday to head to the caucus meeting.

The U.S. and Mexico last month reached a preliminary agreement to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms.

The in-person, high-level negotiations got back underway as events marking the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks took place around the USA, including at the Pentagon with Vice President Mike Pence, not far from where the trade meetings are taking place.

Although issues related to autos, such as the USA push to boost North American content in vehicles, have been a major part of the negotiations, other issues, particularly a desire for more US access to Canada's dairy market and Canadian insistence on maintaining NAFTA's dispute resolution system, are believed to be some of the major remaining sticking points.

Canada's parliament unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Trudeau on Monday, as the famously polite nation simmered over the USA weekend broadsides.

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The two sides have so far been unable to break an impasse over, among other issues, USA access to the Canadian dairy market, a cultural exemption for Canada and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Meanwhile, despite the "several" issues still in dispute, there is strong will on the US side, especially, to wrap up the talks by Friday, trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said Monday. Under U.S. trade negotiating laws, a text for that agreement is due by October 1. "That's important and that's been a success due to Canada and the United States working together and due to Mexico showing some significant flexibility over the summer", Freeland said.

"I think it's something that we obviously have to be aware the president is contemplating".

Trump sounded a more upbeat note earlier, and said he expected to know whether a deal could be struck to include Canada in the next few days. "That's not who we are", Craft said in prepared remarks.

Trump has notified Congress he intends to sign the trade deal reached last week with Mexico by the end of November, and officials said the text would be published by around October 1.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that's not who we are", Craft told the gathered crowd as she thanked Canada - and Gander - for playing host in 2001 to countless stranded American air passengers.

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