The next round of negotiations is scheduled to begin Jan. 23 in Montreal, Canada.
Montreal’s round of NAFTA talks could signal the demise of a golden era of free trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States, according to members of Canada’s advisory panel on the trade meetings.
Donald Trump’s hot-and-cold attitude has stalled months of attempts to find a quick way through the negotiations, and the advisory panel fears his impact is far from over.
“It’s not if but when he triggers the six-month withdrawal,” Rona Ambrose told CBC Radio’s The House on Friday.
“The longer we go with nothing accomplished the more we start to think that Trump’s likely scenario is he wants to be able to say ‘There’s no outcome, we’re not making any progress, we don’t have partners that are working well with us, we’re going to trigger the six-month withdrawal.'”
Threats from the U.S. president to pull out of the trade deal have circulated, but his administration is still subject to the clause that requires half a year’s notice before withdrawal.
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