A deal on an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement appears to be within reach, as Canada and the United States were set to continue negotiations Thursday aimed at getting the pact done by the end of the week.
The U.S. and Mexico have apparently agreed that 75 per cent of the content of cars sold must come from the U.S. or Mexico.
Trade officials worked late into the night on details, and Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, "There's a lot of goodwill on both sides".
Chrystia Freeland, Canada's top NAFTA negotiator, said the talks between Mexico and the USA weren't exclusionary, but necessary to make progress.
Canada's Foreign Minister, Freeland, released a statement prior to the USMTA news noting: "Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners". "Most of the pressure seen on the stock in 2018 is related to trade uncertainty, and removal of this overhang could trigger a very rapid move higher".
Trudeau has insisted his government will only sign a deal that's good for Canada.
Freeland said the higher Mexican wages would result in "better conditions for working people in Canada and also in the United States in high wage countries". The timeline accommodates a 90-day waiting period under US trade law before President Donald Trump can sign the pact.
He sees Canada under greater pressure to accept USA trade terms in light of Trump's renewed threat to slap punishing tariffs on vehicles and auto parts entering his country from Canada.
"Absolutely, the Friday deadline is a real thing. and we hope that Canada will be part of that", Hassett said.
"There are still issues with Canada but I think they could be resolved very quickly", a senior trade official told Reuters in an interview.
"We will engage in a positive way and look forward to ultimately signing a deal as long as it's good for Canada and good for middle class Canadians", Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.
However, Trudeau cast the issue in black-and-white terms as he sidestepped a question on Wednesday about whether Canada would be willing to open up its market to more USA dairy.
But Washington backed away from a strenuously-opposed provision to require the three nations to renegotiate the trade pact after five years.
Trump then dangled the possibility of imposing harsh auto tariffs to punish Canada.
Trump and Republicans in the U.S. Congress up for re-election in November want to ensure farmers and other voters whose jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico that the deal is sealed. On Tuesday, Trudeau said he would defend Canada's dairy farmers.
But Lighthizer wants to kill it, a point he repeated Monday, and Mexico doesn't feel strongly.
Pat Toomey released a statement Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's announcement the USA and Mexico had agreed to change key parts of NAFTA.
"The U.S. went from a $1.6 billion goods trade surplus with Mexico to a $70 billion goods trade deficit during that same time period", it added.
The American Farm Bureau has said lobbied for a rewrite of NAFTA to eliminate or reduce Canadian tariffs on dairy, poultry eggs and wine, as well as recently implemented barriers to imports of ultra-filtered milk.
The NAFTA renegotiations had dragged on for a year before the tentative agreement with Mexico was announced Monday.