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Trump Hamstrings U.S. NAFTA Team, Says Canada’s Chief Negotiator

Posted February 14, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Mike Blanchfield – Canadian Press)

The ongoing effort to rescue and revamp NAFTA has made only limited progress because U.S. officials at the table find themselves hamstrung by the demands of the Trump White House and the talks are taking place too quickly, Canada’s chief negotiator says.

Tuesday’s hard-hitting and sobering update from Steve Verheul came on the same day that U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer took another shot at Canada by suggesting more progress on the continental trade pact was being made with Mexico.

Verheul described the current NAFTA talks as the most unusual negotiation he’s ever been involved in.

“They do not come to the table — our counterparts — with a lot of flexibility. This is being driven to a large extent from the top, from the administration, and there’s not a lot of flexibility,” the veteran negotiator told the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Click here to read more.