Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Canada taking US NAFTA threat seriously, seeks to end…

THE CANADIAN PRESS Open this
Ray Hunter | 13 January, 2018, 04:00

"When it comes to the more unconventional USA proposals, we have been doing some creative thinking, we've been talking with Canadian stakeholders and we have some new ideas that we look forward to talking with our USA and Mexican counterparts about in Montreal".

Stressing the massive size of the NAFTA market - encompassing almost 500 million consumers and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $21 trillion - Freeland said, "Canada is prepared to take the time that it takes to get it right". "I think we need to take our neighbors at their word, take them seriously, and so Canada is prepared for every eventuality".

Freeland said the WTO filing is about the "unfair and unjustified" tariffs imposed, and is "on a quite separate track from the NAFTA negotiations".

Trump has repeatedly threatened to walk away from the 1994 pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico unless major changes are made.

The next round of talks is scheduled for January 23-28 in Montreal.

"We remain optimistic that they will get back to the negotiating table, and that an agreement will be hammered out", he said. One person familiar with government thinking said some of the ideas related to auto content.

IRS Said to Need Additional $1B to Implement New Tax Law
Employers are encouraged to implement the new withholding tables expeditiously but should do so no later than February 15, 2018. For example, there is a new $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local taxes a household can deduct from federal income.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said at a Liberal cabinet retreat in London, Ont., that Trump's newfound patience on NAFTA renegotiations is "sensible" and "constructive".

Apart from reiterating to Trump the enormity of the situation-nearly 14 million American workers rely on trade with Canada and Mexico-supporters have also pointed to potential damage to the stock market that could ensue.

Such an announcement by Trump would trigger a six-month countdown to the USA exit from NAFTA. Chuck Grassley also released a statement on Tuesday urging the administration to protect farmers by keeping the deal intact.

US stocks fell slightly after the Reuters report and the chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab was quoted as saying the USA pulling out of NAFTA would represent a risk to the markets.

Political allies like Pat Roberts, the Republican senator from Kansas, said Thursday they are "making progress" in their attempts to persuade the president of the potentially detrimental impact of a NAFTA withdrawal.

Trump's proudest boast is the performance of the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index since he became president.

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