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Concerns mount that NAFTA could die before it's renegotiated

Concerns mount that NAFTA could die before it's renegotiated
From CBC - October 12, 2017

Blunt warnings about the fate of the North America Free Trade Agreement suggestCanada needs to prepare for a world without the trade pact.

"This thing is going into the toilet," said Jerry Dias, the head of UNIFOR, Canada's largest private sector union.

Dias said it is clear the Americans are not looking to reach an agreement, and he scoffed at the idea of negotiations being completed before the end of the year.

"We are going to have to start having serious conversations about life after NAFTA," Dias said.

The stark assessment comes in the middle of the fourth round of NAFTA talksnegotiators from Canada, the U.S.and Mexico are meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in suburban Virginia, just outside of Washington.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged yesterdaythat the NAFTA renegotiation process has been difficult, following his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

Trudeau was looking for reassurance from Trump over the importance of trade with Canada, but instead Trump mused about killing the three-country pact in favour of a bilateral trade agreement with Canada.

Growing pessimism

Trump's threats are being taken seriouslyby members of the government's NAFTA advisory panel, including former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore.

"I think it's a real threat and the odds are even, frankly, that it may happen," Moore told CBC News Network'sPower & Politics.

"If you look at President Trump, if you look at the sweep of what he's done so far as president, he's had very little success at proactively gaining things, but he's had an actual success at taking things down," Moore said.

Trump's threats to kill the deal are more than just discouraging, saidNDP trade criticTracey Ramsey.

Canada will survive: Dias

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