Trudeau: NAFTA dispute resolution system is essential

Trudeau: NAFTA dispute resolution system is essential”

President Trump has threatened to withdraw from the free trade agreement if a better deal for the USA can not be achieved. Ambassador Gutiérrez expressed a strong desire to continue strengthening agricultural trade between the USA and Mexico, but he also acknowledged that Mexico must keep its options open and is looking to other markets to secure his nations grain supply. "We expect that will continue to be the case in any renegotiated Nafta - that we will continue to have a fair dispute-resolution system".

The first round of NAFTA renegotiation talks is slated for August 16 and a deal is expected to be reached quickly as Mexico doesn't want the talks tied up in its presidential election taking place next July. But a highly placed government source has told the Globe and Mail that Trudeau is ready to walk away from the talks over the matter.

That has implications for the negotiations over softwood lumber, too.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday it is "absolutely essential" that a revised North American Free-Trade Agreement contain a dispute-resolution panel, setting the stage for a showdown between Ottawa and the Trump administration ahead of trilateral talks next month. Western Canadian producers faced no limits but an export tax between five and 15 per cent depending on lumber prices.

Daniel Ujczo, a Columbus, Ohio-based trade lawyer at Dickinson Wright, said the Trump administration heard from some influential constituencies - most notably the US lumber industry - about the need to scrap the dispute-settlement scheme.

The Conference Board of Canada released a report in March estimating that Canadian softwood producers would pay $1.7 billion in duties a year and cut 2,200 jobs and $700 million in US exports over the next two years before the dispute is settled.

Trade analysts and U.S.

"We won't rule out the possibility of reviewing the trade balance among the partners of North America as long as any solution we propose is through expanded trade, not restrictions on trade", Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo told The Wall Street Journal.

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