UPDATED 7:04 AM PT — Mon. Sept. 24, 2018
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing mounting pressure at home to reach an agreement with the U.S. on an updated NAFTA.
Canadian business leaders and regional officials say hundreds of thousands of jobs in the province of Ontario rely entire on U.S. trade, meaning Trudeau is more likely to give in to U.S. demands ahead of the October 1st deadline.
“We’re here to protect the Ontario jobs, specifically in the agriculture and steel and aluminum and automotive industries, there’s cost of a million jobs at stake,” stated Doug Ford, Premier – Ontario.
Trudeau said he and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland would hold informal negotiations with U.S. officials on the sidelines of this week’s United Nations gathering in New York.
The statement comes after the U.S.-Canadian talks have faltered over Ottawa’s reluctance to reduce its 300-percent imports tariffs of dairy products.
Despite Trudeau stressing he wouldn’t sign what he called a “bad” NAFTA deal, a no-deal outcome is seen as possibly undermining the Canadian manufacturing sector.
“We are focused on getting a good deal for all Canadians including Quebeckers, New Brunswickers, and people across the country,” said Trudeau.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement it would be “unacceptable” to leave Canada out of the updated NAFTA due to its large volumes of imports from the U.S.
These latest developments suggest the sides might consider mutual concessions to strike a deal in the coming days.
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