OTTAWA – Canada’s chief NAFTA negotiator says only limited progress has been made in revamping the continental trade pact.
Steve Verheul says that’s because the talks are moving “a bit too fast.”
The seventh round of NAFTA talks is set to begin later this month in Mexico City with substantial differences remaining on autos, a sunset clause and an investor-dispute resolution mechanism, and U.S. demands for greater market access to Canada’s protected dairy industry.
The NAFTA renegotiation survived its sixth round of talks in Montreal, with U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer saying enough progress was made to push forward despite American dissatisfaction with some Canadian proposals.
Lighthizer also called Canada’s wide-ranging complaint to the World Trade Organization a “massive attack” against U.S. trading practices.
Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump complained about Canadian trade practices and threatened an undefined international tax, reviving fears of new American import penalties — a fear the White House has since played down.