Canada welcomes Trump's 'flexible' timetable for NAFTA deal


The Trump administration began renegotiating the trilateral trade deal a year ago, and discussions are set to enter their sixth round this month.

He said it's crucial that the upcoming negotiating round in Montreal Jan. 23-28 show some progress.

The Canadian dollar fell to its weakest level this year at C$1.2561 to the greenback, or 79.61 USA cents.

Mexico probably walks: Insiders familiar with the Mexican negotiators' strategy are adamant: they will leave the negotiating table if Trump triggers Article 2205.

Freeland says extending the deadline is a "sensible" and "constructive" suggestion.

The likely manifestation of that creative thinking is flexibility on the rules of origin proposals put forward by the Americans. Congressional Republicans, especially those from border states whose economies depend on trade, have urged the Trump administration to modernize NAFTA, rather than risking the economic consequences of ending it.

Canada is upset at US tariffs imposed on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, newsprint and an nearly 300 percent duty on Canadian aerospace Bombardier CSeries aircraft.

Officials say discussions are now taking place about raising the NAFTA region content requirement.

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A spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland - in overall charge of U.S.

Ottawa has for months been bracing for Mr. Trump to trigger Article 2205, the NAFTA withdrawal process, and sources said this week Canada is prepared for him to make such a move at any time. "We're moving along nicely", the President was quoted as saying.

Trump has boasted about remarkable stock market performances frequently this month, tweeting last week that the Dow Jones passing 25,000 should be the "biggest story on earth!"

"It shouldn't be a shock that the hogs were lower today given this information, when almost 30 percent of our exports go to our neighbor to the South", said Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting LLC President Mike Zuzolo. When he landed, he was surprised to hear the urgent tone of news reporting suggesting a pullout was imminent.

BMO forecasts Canadian GDP growth of nine per cent over the next five years. "Traders are weighing the NAFTA news against the likelihood of a Bank of Canada rate hike next week".

Prices would rise marginally for consumers, while industries such as transportation equipment, clothing, food and beverages would be impacted adversely. Markets are beginning to discuss a higher risk of protectionism which should benefit CAD shorts.

A withdrawal notice doesn't mean NAFTA would be killed - a country can give notice and then not actually leave.

But the truth is, if it wasn't that, it would be something else.