NAFTA talks will resume Tuesday despite impasse over Chapter 19, dairy industry

Gold catches late NY bid on NAFTA headlines, but . . .

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for a meeting with her USA counterpart Robert Lighthizer.

Major stumbling blocks for Ottawa and Washington remain: an global system for resolving disputes, Canada's protected dairy industry and Canadian cultural subsidies.

True to form, when asked about Mulroney's remarks, the foreign affairs minister refused to say anything publicly about the discussions around the table for fear of undermining what she described as a cordial and productive atmosphere.

But those talks excluded Canada, the third NAFTA country.

"We've taken those hits for team Canada, and we are determined that there be no further concessions on dairy", said David Wiens, vice president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday to continue meeting with her United States counterpart.

Freeland spokesman Adam Austen did not give details.

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"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", she said of the anniversary. A political deadline in Mexico to sign the deal by December 1, plus requirements in American law have put pressure on Canada to join the pact by the end of this month at the latest. "But we don't negotiate differently because of pressure tactics like that".

Dairy has been singled out as a key hurdle, including on Friday when Larry Kudlow, a senior economic adviser to Trump, said in a Fox Business Network interview that what "continues to block the deal is m-i-l-k".

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars".

"Our farmers don't have access to the Canadian markets the way that they have access to us".

Freeland spent three days in Washington last week and said on Friday as she prepared to leave that she and Lighthizer were making very good progress in some areas, although a deal remained out of reach.

Wiens declined to say what action the organization would take if an updated NAFTA deal gave the US a greater chunk of the Canadian market, but did not rule out campaigning against ratification of the agreement, or the Liberal government. "It can't be renamed something or called something else", Perdue said when asked about dairy concessions needed to reach a NAFTA deal, referring to a new milk class created previous year by Canada to price milk ingredients such as protein concentrates, skim milk and whole milk powder. The Pacific trade pact provided those countries with access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's market, and expectations are the US won't go any lower.

The hope is for a trilateral agreement in principle that Congress can approve before Mexico's new president takes office on December 1. "He doesn't need any more problems, particularly when he's going into an election campaign with a vote in November that could be extremely challenging for him".

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