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Pacific Trade Deal Throws a Curveball Into NAFTA Talks

(Tonda MacCharles – Toronto Star)

The sixth round of NAFTA talks began Tuesday with dramatic twists in the trade plot as Canada and Mexico signed a new 11-member transpacific trade pact without the U.S., and President Donald Trump took a hard swing at America’s commercial competitors.

Canada’s and Mexico’s courting of other trade partners culminated in a new Pacific Rim trade deal that surprised key industry stakeholders and became the backdrop to the formal start of a crucial negotiating round for the troubled North American free trade agreement.

What first appeared to be a negotiating success later looked like a potentially hollow victory as reality sank in: Canada has embraced a new deal that makes significant concessions and will allow more foreign competition for its auto industry and supply-managed agricultural sectors, such as dairy, eggs and poultry. Critics say it will hamstring negotiators here.

“In order to send Trump a message that we’re free traders, we just undermined everything that’s going on here,” fumed Unifor president Jerry Dias. Click here to read more.