February 18th, 2018

Committee questions Freeland on NAFTA following proposed Ontario retaliation

By The Canadian Press on February 8, 2018.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland arrives to appear before a House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on Canada's foreign policy priorities and the status of the NAFTA modernization talks, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is facing questions from the House of Commons foreign affairs committee about the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

Her testimony comes as Ontario threatens retaliation over Buy America provisions and the U.S. trade czar is reportedly raising the possibility of striking a deal with Mexico and dealing with Canada later.

A congressman who was among lawmakers briefed by Robert Lighthizer this week said the trade czar was frustrated with Canada and was considering concluding a quick agreement with Mexico before dealing with Canada.

The U.S. trade representative later issued a statement reiterating its commitment to the three-country continental accord.

Lighthizer expressed dissatisfaction at the end of the recent NAFTA negotiations in Montreal over some of Canada’s proposals, calling one of them a “poison pill.”

He also accused Canada of launching a “massive attack” on the U.S. trade system by filing a detailed complaint to the World Trade Organization in December.

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