Canadian farmers say they will not accept dairy concessions in NAFTA talks

Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks to Dairy Farmers at Trinity Valley Dairy in Cortland New York U.S. August 23

Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks to Dairy Farmers at Trinity Valley Dairy in Cortland New York U.S. August 23

But a leader of this country's main milk-producing lobby group said Monday his industry has given enough in previous trade deals and will not tolerate more concessions.

A study commissioned by the Canadian Embassy says 9 million jobs "spread across every congressional district" are supported by the Canada-U.S. economic partnership.

Meanwhile, figures provided to CBC News show that Canada collected almost $300 million in July and August after Ottawa slapped USA imports with retaliatory tariffs.

Mulroney said Justin Trudeau phoned him last weekend to discuss the NAFTA situation and the two spoke for an hour.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, returned to Washington on Tuesday for talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

It is unclear how long the current round of talks will go on in Washington.

The U.S. has said it plans to present Congress with the deal it has with Mexico if Canada doesn't get on board.

Trudeau, facing elections in 2019, said on Sunday (June 10) that Canada "will not be pushed around", triggering a fierce attack from Trump and his advisers, on Tuesday (June 12).

A Canadian source with knowledge of the NAFTA discussions said an agreement is within reach - but they stressed that getting there will require flexibility from all sides. Asked if it would be gone from a NAFTA deal, he said, "I think it should be".

"It seems even if we give a lot, the USA keeps asking for more", said Mr. Kronby, an global trade lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais.

Mexico is also expected to rejoin the talks at some point on Friday, allowing for three-way negotiations to resume after a two-month break.

The director of public Affairs of Teamsters Canada, Christopher Monette, who attended behind-the-scenes to the most recent negotiations in Washington, believes that the administration, Trump would not touch the system of supply management, particularly as it relates to the dairy industry. "I can't read the tea leaves, but. coming back and saying, "Sorry, we couldn't get an agreement" is just too hard politically to manage" on both sides, Sosnow said.

At the White House, Trump told reporters Canada wanted a deal "very much" and that talks were "coming along well".

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having and put into historical significance the relationship between Canada and the United States", Freeland said. "They're really hammering this out", said Orr, who is now senior global trade adviser for a Washington law firm.

Trudeau, for his part, added that: "we're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win-win-win that we know is there".

Experts note that the desire to make a trade deal happen is influenced by upcoming political events, including the US midterm elections in November, a transition of presidential power in Mexico in December and next year's Canadian election.

What should Canada do at the NAFTA negotiating table?

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