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美加努力解决分歧,达成新北美贸易协定

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2018-09-08  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

U.S. and Canadian negotiators pushed ahead in grinding talks to rescue the North American Free Trade Agreement on Thursday, but a few stubborn issues stood in the way of a deal, including dairy quotas, protection for Canadian media companies, and how to resolve future trade disputes.

A U.S. source familiar with the discussions in Washington said it was still unclear whether the two sides could bridge the gaps or whether President Donald Trump will opt for a Mexico-only bilateral trade deal.

Trump has set a deadline for a deal this week, prompting aides to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to work well into the evening Thursday to find ways to move forward.

“We are making good progress,” Freeland told reporters following a short meeting with Lighthizer at the USTR offices Thursday evening.

She repeated her earlier statements that the day’s discussions were “constructive and productive” amid an atmosphere of “goodwill on both sides.”

The Trump administration charges that Canada discriminates against U.S. dairy exports. It also wants to end the Chapter 19 arbitration panels for resolving disputes over anti-dumping tariffs, something Canada has used to defend its lumber exports to the United States, despite U.S. charges that Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized.

NAFTA’s Chapter 19 governs how disputes are resolved.

The third unresolved issue is Canada’s insistence that previous NAFTA cultural exemptions protecting its publishing and media companies from being acquired by American companies be preserved. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week said this was important to Canada’s national sovereignty and identity.

Lighthizer has referred to the exemptions as “cultural protectionism” as Canadian companies are free to buy U.S. media outlets.

The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms.

Trump said Wednesday that he expected it to be clear whether there would be a deal to include Canada in a few days.

Trump has notified Congress he intends to sign the trade deal reached last week with Mexico by the end of November, and officials said the text would be published by around Oct. 1.


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