Canada Ready to Allow US Dairy Access in NAFTA Talks

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NAFTA Talks To Resume This Week

"It is very important to inform" Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in person about the latest developments, she added.

"I think we understand there are certain issues on which we will need to compromise", one of the sources said when asked about increased dairy access for the USA industry.

"To continually undermine the industry is absolutely devastating and it weakens our industry overall", said David Wiens, vice president of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Canada and the United States are attempting to put the final touch to a text that could be submitted to Congress at the end of the month and allow Canada to join the agreement signed by the administration Trump with Mexico.

"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the USA doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

Asked if it would be gone from a NAFTA deal, he said, "I think it should be".

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Officials say the main sticking points are Canada's dairy quota regime, Ottawa's desire to keep a dispute resolution mechanism, and Canadian media laws that favour domestically produced content.

"There's an opportunity to update NAFTA and we're happy to do it, but as I've said it has to be the right deal, it has to be a good deal", he said. "But we don't negotiate differently because of pressure tactics like that".

"We agreed that it would be useful to continue talking today, so we're back for more negotiations", Freeland told reporters as she entered USTR offices in Washington.

President Donald Trump has struck a trade deal with Mexico and threatened to push ahead without Canada, a move that would kill NAFTA, which covers $1.2 trillion in trade between the three countries, and further spook financial markets.

The dairy system, or supply management as it is known, falls outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Trudeau and his ministers will hold a caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to plot their strategy.

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Former federal Canadian trade official Matthew Kronby said the reported American demands indicate to him that the White House doesn't really want to strike a deal with Canada.

What should Canada do at the NAFTA negotiating table?

"We have been very clear on that, that there can not be more access given", Wiens said in a telephone interview. The Pacific trade pact provided those countries with access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's market, and expectations are the US won't go any lower.

US officials say time is running out to agree on a text on which the current Congress can vote.

"If (Trump) goes to Congress with a bilateral arrangement with Mexico, he's got problems - real problems", Mulroney said.

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