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After US, Mexico Reach Trade Deal, What's Next For Canada?

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After US, Mexico Reach Trade Deal, What's Next For Canada?
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The United States and Mexico finalized a trade agreement this week — a "positive development" for Canada, according to the Canadian American Business Council.

What Happened

Mexico's government made its position clear Monday that Canada needs to be at the negotiating table, a position the Trump administration isn't necessarily against, Canadian American Business Council CEO Maryscott Greenwood said during CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment Tuesday.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland is in Washington to oversee an "intensive week" of trilateral talks that could lead to an agreement for all three countries as early as this week.

Greenwood said an agreement won't be easily reached, as there are multiple obstacles to overcome. Using hockey terms, the Trump administration "wants to pull the refs off the ice" in terms of dispute resolution, Greenwood said. And Canada's nearly 300-percent tariff on imported dairy products has been an issue raised by Trump in the past.

Why It's Important

Encouragingly, there are only a "handful" of topics to discuss in trade talks that are "not insurmountable," but the Canadian team needs to "lace up their skates and come prepare to compromise," Greenwood said. Mexico has already offered concessions to the U.S., especially in terms of rules of origin.

What's Next

Despite not being present at the negotiating table, Canada has been acting in "good faith" over the past year, but now is the time to negotiate, Greenwood said. Canadians want a trade deal to be finalized in a reasonable time frame before the Trump administration's attention shifts to China or elsewhere, she said. 

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