Canada and Mexico to discuss how to address NAFTA renegotiation

The Canadian ambassador warns that it is critical that NAFTA has a mechanism to resolve disputes
Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
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Canadian and Mexican officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss how to push forward negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), two sources informed, while a Canadian diplomat suggested a possible dispute with Washington.

The talks will be held in Ottawa, sources said, requesting anonymity because of the delicate situation. "The two sides will look for ways in which they can work together," one source said.

The meeting was scheduled before the United States unveiled its priorities for the talks on Monday, aimed at modernizing the agreement that came into force in 1994.

These include the desire to remove Chapter 19, which establishes a dispute resolution mechanism that has prevented the United States from filing suits for the use of subsidies and dumping against Mexican and Canadian firms.

The Canadian ambassador said this Tuesday that it is critical that NAFTA has a mechanism to resolve disputes.

"There are many things they raised where we take quite a different position. We think it's critical to have some kind of a dispute resolution mechanism incorporated," said David MacNaughton, Canadian ambassador to Washington.

Both Mexico and the United States will hold important elections in 2018 that could complicate negotiations.

Mexico says that it would make sense to conclude the talks before the end of the year, a goal that Canadian officials have admitted is impossible if the trade treaty is to be properly modernized.


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