Stalled talks between the U.S. and Canada regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement are expected to continue this week, as the U.S. desires to reach a deal by September 30th. Informal talks are likely over the next few days, according to Reuters, as global attention turns towards a U.N. meeting this week. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says nothing had formally been arranged for this week, however, leaving further uncertainty as to whether the U.S. will continue to seek a trilateral agreement.
The U.S. appears likely to forge ahead with a U.S.-Mexico only trade agreement until the U.S. can reach an agreement with Canada beyond the September 30th deadline. Trudeau offered some pushback over the weekend, saying Canada would not be rushed into reaching an agreement and that he would not sign “a bad NAFTA deal.” Dairy market access remains a sticking point between the two nations, among a handful of other remaining issues.
A new trade agreement was signed on Monday between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement following the KORUS Free Trade Agreement:
“We are entering into a new KORUS agreement that is a better deal for the entire United States economy, including the agricultural sector. This represents an important improvement in trade relations between our two nations, building on long-standing cooperation we have enjoyed. This agreement adds to the momentum building for President Trump’s approach to trade, which is to stand strong for America’s interests and strike better deals. I am optimistic that the dominoes will continue to fall: KORUS, then a new NAFTA, and new agreements with the European Union, Japan, and, most notably, China. As an avid sportsman, I would say ‘put this one in the bag and keep hunting for more.’”
Sources: NAFB News Service and USDA