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A NAFTA Negotiation Timeline: Week Ends Without US-Canada Deal

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A NAFTA Negotiation Timeline: Week Ends Without US-Canada Deal

After the announcement of the updated trade deal between the U.S. and Mexico on Monday, Canada’s involvement was up in the air throughout the week before the business day ended Friday without a deal. 

President Donald Trump had reportedly issued a Friday deadline for the decision; Canadian negotiators told CNN Friday afternoon that negotiations will resume next week. 

Here's how the week unfolded as Trump sought to modify the trilateral NAFTA agreement. 

Wednesday

“They (Canada) want to be part of the deal, and we gave until Friday and I think we’re probably on track. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed optimism for meeting a Friday deadline, assuming it benefited Canada, according to CNBC. 

"We recognize that there is a possibility of getting there by Friday, but it is only a possibility, because it will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada," Trudeau announced in a press conference, according to CNBC. "No NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal."

Thursday

“Canada’s going to make a deal at some point. It may be by Friday or it may be within a period of time,” said Trump, according to Bloomberg Television. “I think we’re close to a deal.”

Analyst Clayton Allen from Height Capital Markets gave his take in a Thursday note.

“Reports that Canadian negotiators may be willing to compromise on dairy and cultural exchange provisions in return for the US reducing demands for dispute settlement revisions increases the potential for a 'handshake' deal between the two nations in the near future. It remains unclear if the US and Canada can resolve all their outstanding disputes by the Friday,” Allen said.

The outstanding issues between Canada and the U.S. are solvable, but “sufficiently complex," the analyst said.

Allen considers the probability of a refined trade deal to be less reliant on Canada’s decision and instead driven more by Congressional approval in 2019.

“In any event, the risk to NAFTA now appears to focus primarily on ultimate Congressional approval rather than on the potential failure of negotiations,” Allen said.

Essentially, this process could extend into 2019 before final approval, meaning it could occur under a Democratic House majority, the Height analyst said. 

Friday

Based on several headlines listed on Benzinga Pro on Friday morning and early afternoon, many reports insinuated a slight downward shift in optimism. Some of Friday’s headlines reported:

  • According to Bloomberg, a Fox reporting source said the U.S. government is not necessarily expecting a deal by today’s deadline, indicated talks could ‘slip into weekend.’
  • Bloomberg reporter John Wingrove tweeted “Update: sources tell me there is no way Canada will cave on wanting Ch. 19 panels… talks to resume later today.”
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told Bloomberg “Both the Canadian and U.S. teams have been working hard this morning. We are not there yet.”

President Trump tweeted at 2:37 p.m.: "Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!"

The tweet was an apparent response to this Toronto Star story. 

As of 3:30 on Friday, it was confirmed that trade talks concluded with no agreement reached. 

NAFTA negotiations between the U.S. and Canada will reportedly resume Wednesday.

Related Links:

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

US-Mexico Trade Deal Seems to Continue to Boost Stock Market Sentiment

Posted-In: Bloomberg CNBC Clayton Allen cnn Donald TrumpNews Politics Media General Best of Benzinga

 

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