Canada column for Sunday, May 21/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Canada is approaching the impending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement as something that will be “routine.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said “modernizing trade agreements is standard practice” for trading nations.
U.S. President Donald Trump through Congress has formally given the required 90-day notice to Canada and Mexico to rework the 25-year-old agreement.
Elements of the deal are “outdated” and do not reflect modern standards, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.
Areas needing to be “modernized” include intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, environment and labor, of which Canada is in agreement.
The goal is to conclude the negotiations “with timely and substantive results for U.S. consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers and workers,” Lighthizer said.
Freeland will meet in Mexico City on Tuesday with Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray to discuss the agreement and trade.
“Our objective is going to be to negotiate a great deal for Canadians and I’m very confident we can do that,” Freeland said.