(David Ljunggren – Reuters)
Canada and the United States exchanged barbs on Tuesday over sluggish negotiations to update NAFTA, reflecting mounting tensions over trade talks that appear unlikely to conclude on schedule.
The talks have effectively stalled as Canada and Mexico seek to address wide-ranging U.S. demands for changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The early March deadline for wrapping up the talks has been extended to at least early April, officials said. But participants have said privately it could take months longer than that.
Steve Verheul, Canada’s chief negotiator, told an Ottawa audience that the United States aimed to weaken Canada and Mexico rather than ensure that the $1.2 trillion trilateral trade pact benefited all three members.
A few minutes earlier, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pointedly said in Washington that talks with Mexico over NAFTA were going well. He made no mention of Canada. Click here to read more.
- Trump’s Trade Chief Says NAFTA Deal ‘Very Much in Reach’ as Canada’s Top Negotiator Says Progress Limited (Toronto Star)
- U.S. Touts NAFTA Progress With Mexico While Trump Criticizes Canada (Bloomberg)
- NAFTA Talks Might Drag on Till 2019, Says Mexican Financial Sector (Xinhua)