So, Trade Negotiations With Canada Are Going Great - Hit & Run

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka appeared on Fox News Sunday on Labor Day weekend and spoke with host Chris Wallace about NAFTA and President Donald Trump's renegotiation with Mexico... and possible exclusion of Canada.

After intense negotiations last week, US and Canadian trade teams failed to strike a deal before Mr. Trump's Friday deadline.

Trumka not only said he's anxious to see America "move forward" with the deal, he bashed the prior incarnation of NAFTA, and those who upheld it.

A few weeks ago, the United States began negotiating with Mexico, leaving Canada on the sidelines.

"I love Canada, but they've taken advantage of our Country for many years!"

Last week, Trump announced he was proceeding with plans to abandon NAFTA and was working out the details of a new bilateral trade agreement with Mexico.

Trump has charged that the deal wiped out American factory jobs.

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland held four meetings with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to try to bridge differences to preserve the three-nation trade pact with the US and Mexico. "It also seems to be working in Turkey; it seems to be working in Iran; it seems to be working in Russia where the sanctions are really hurting the Russian economy as well".

The deal announced on Monday would, among many other things, require that 40 per cent to 45 per cent of a vehicle be made in a North American country where auto workers made at least $16 an hour - that is, not in Mexico - before qualifying for duty-free status.

A major sticking point for Canada is that the deal eliminated the settlement system for anti-dumping disputes, NAFTA's Chapter 19.

After securing the agreement with Mexico on its terms, the U.S. piled on the pressure on Canada with its specific demands.

On Canada, he said: "I think it is going to happen and we really have developed a really good relationship".

After the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement on new rules for auto trade and tougher protections for workers and intellectual property, talks with Canada were hung up on the mechanisms used to resolve disputes among partners and on Ottawa's strictly controlled dairy sector.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, a Trump ally, said he thought the president would get a deal that included Canada.

NAFTA, which came into effect at the beginning of January 1994, lifted tariffs on virtually all goods traded among the US, Canada and Mexico. Another key issue is USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, though it's unclear whether relief from those will be included.

Trilateral trade between the NAFTA countries has exceeded one trillion dollars annually in recent years, according to a 2017 report by the US Congressional Research Service. Trump has threatened to stick tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Canada does not agree to a revamped NAFTA.

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