C$ strengthens with oil prices, investors to watch NAFTA talks

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Now, Wisconsin manufacturers, farmers and labor unions are closely watching President Donald Trump's efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

He identified the auto sector as an area that will be a central focus on USA negotiators in the first round of NAFTA talks, which are scheduled to last until Sunday.

Travis Justice, chief economist with the Arkansas Farm Bureau, said the USA trade deficit with Mexico is connected largely with the manufacturing sector, not agriculture.

Never missing an opportunity to belabor the trade deficit point, Lighthizer said NAFTA has failed Americans.

Freeland said Canada does not see trade surpluses or deficits as the primary measure of whether bilateral trade relations are working - in contrast to Trump, who has repeatedly talked about US trade deficits as the key data point for bolstering American manufacturing and industrial jobs. The administration has not publicly identified a specific percentage of minimum domestic content that it would like to see. They argue that lax rules are letting companies source products that sidestep labor and environmental standards, and that using more parts that are made in North America will strengthen regional business and add jobs. Any changes to NAFTA need to lead to an improvement in our quality of life and higher wages for MI families, not a race to the bottom.

U.S. -Canada-Mexico trade has quadrupled since NAFTA took effect in 1994, surpassing $1 trillion in 2015.

He told Xinhua that the NAFTA talks could outlast Trump's own presidency. “The whole idea of a trade deal is to build a fence around participants inside and give them an advantage over the outside.

NAFTA was the first USA trade agreement to include the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, Johnson said.

"In 2016, Canada and the United States traded $635.1 billion USA dollars worth of goods and services, and that exchange was nearly perfectly reciprocal", she said.

Canada's Freeland suggested on Monday that Canada would walk away from the talks if the United States insisted on scrapping the mechanism. "Canada has been refusing to share details of imports and exports under those programs, but the reality is that much of the dairy the United States ships to Canada doesn't stay in Canada".

Then there's time. Trump wants swift negotiations without too much USA concession.

Today the signatories of NAFTA will meet in Washington DC to renegotiate the free trade deal.

"Mr Lighthizer's speech was very focused on US domestic policy".

My hope is that together we will produce a result which moves us to freer markets, fairer and balanced trade, and stronger ties between our three countries.

To modernize the deal, the three sides are looking at how to include e-commerce and other technological developments that did not exist when NAFTA was first negotiated. A trade agreement might modestly improve the lives of many Americans (think lower prices or a greater assortment of goods), but it can also devastate a much smaller population of Americans by displacing their jobs.

"We find ourselves in an ongoing pickle of trying to figure out how we can sell products in Canada", North said.