Sep 05, 2018
By Jane Brown
Another round of NAFTA talks is set to begin Wednesday morning in Washington following a five day break in negotiations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to stand by his position that Canada will not sign onto any updated deal that does not maintain cultural exemptions included in the current North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trudeau says removing those protections for Canada’s publishing and broadcast industries would strip Canada of its identity.
“We’ve made it very clear that defending that cultural exemption that is fundamental to Canadians, and again, we will not sign a deal that is bad for Canada,” said Trudeau in Surrey, B.C. on Tuesday.
Trudeau also insists Canadian negotiators will hold firm in maintaining a dispute resolution mechanism in NAFTA known as Chapter 19.
Those two positions were among the pillars of the original 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade deal.
Trade experts say Canada and the U.S. need to present a text to the American Congress by October 1st in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico last week. But the overall goal is to reach a deal by December 1st, so Congress can approve a new NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.