Completed, the NAFTA agreement?

Photo: Susan Walsh, Associated Press
Justin Trudeau has met on Wednesday its american counterpart, while a few kilometres from the White House has embarked upon the fourth round of renegotiation of the Agreement on free trade in north america.

Donald Trump casts doubt on the fate of NAFTA was not surprised the gallery. But the american president has gone further, in his meeting with Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, referring to the downright exclusion of Mexico to the free trade in north america to conclude rather a bilateral agreement with Canada. A possibility that has not rejected the canadian prime minister.


“It is possible that we may reach an agreement, and it is possible that not” reiterated of how evasive the president Trump ace of his meeting with prime minister Trudeau in the oval Office on Wednesday.


But the failure of negotiations with Mexico would not necessarily mean the end of free trade with Ottawa, has suggested, now the american president.


When asked about the question of whether he could then continue negotiations with only Canada, Donald Trump has shown himself could not be more clear.” Quite. It is possible that we may not be able to ratify an agreement with one or the other but that in the meantime, there is agreement with one of them. But I think it has the chance to do something very creative which can be good for Canada, Mexico and the United States. “


The failure referred to


Justin Trudeau met with his american counterpart, while a few kilometres from the White House has embarked upon the fourth round of negotiations of the free trade Agreement north american. And the talks, which were already difficult, may be even more as the three countries prepare to discuss the issues of greatest dispute.

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The failure of the negotiations is increasingly being referred to.


“I continue to believe that NAFTA is the best way for our three countries to face the competition within the global economy,” assured Justin Trudeau at the end of his meeting with Donald Trump.


But for the first time, the prime minister has shown a willingness to consider a return to the bilateral free trade canada-u.s., by spreading the Mexico that was the target of the most severe critics of the government Trump in terms of commercial relationship.


“We will continue to work seriously and diligently on the negotiations of the NAFTA. But at the same time, I think we all recognize that the unexpected is always possible and we must be ready for everything. And we are ready for everything. “


The negotiators of the three countries, initiating new rounds of talks on Wednesday, during which they will discuss the agriculture, the mechanism of settlement of trade disputes, the place offered to their partners in the procurement process and the share of u.s. content that will be found in the automotive industry.


The demands of the United States will, according to rumors, very protectionist. The president has long suggested that it might withdraw from NAFTA if the negotiations do not suit him.


A repeal complicated


However, the abrogation of the tripartite agreement would not be as simple, warn experts. Mainly because its creation has been submitted to the House of representatives and in the Senate in 1993.

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“Since NAFTA was approved by both chambers, it would be necessary that [the dismissal] would be endorsed by way of legislation,” noted Armand de Mestral, emeritus professor of law at McGill. “There are arguments very seriously indicating that an attempt by the president to denounce the NAFTA would not be sufficient to put an end to NAFTA. “


Much more than a “legislative uncertainty” plane as to which authority would have the last word to edit such a treaty because the free trade agreement is a commercial that notes, in particular, of the Congress.


“I doubt very much that the president Trump to go forward without an agreement in Congress. Otherwise, it will end up in limbo constitutional because there was little to no precedent, ” warns Olivier Barsalou, who teaches american law at UQAM.


Operation charm in the Congress


Well aware that the elected americans will want to have their say, Justin Trudeau had started his day with a meeting of the Committee of ways and means of the House of representatives. In its study of tax measures, and of taxation of the american government, of even trade agreements.


Any reform of the NAFTA would likely be subject in order to make recommendations to the House of representatives, which would then have to rule on.


Prime minister Trudeau was to remind them that ” the U.s. sells more to Canada than they do in China, Japan, and Great Britain put together “. A message which would have shown themselves to be “very open” to the elect, he reported.

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Some felt, however, as the president, the Trump, that the dairy sector in canada should be more accessible, just as the cultural field.


The fourth round of negotiations of the free trade agreement will continue until Tuesday, when the ministers of the three countries will be gathered once again to make the point.

With The canadian Press

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