美加努力解决分歧,达成新北美贸易协定 US, Canada Push to Resolve Issues, Reach NAFTA Deal

美国和加拿大的谈判代表星期四继续推动艰难谈判,以挽救北美自由贸易协定,不过仍有一些问题导致无法达成协议,其中包括奶制品配额、加拿大对其媒体公司的保护以及解决未来贸易纠纷的机制。

一位了解谈判情况的美国消息人士表示,目前尚不清楚双方是否可以缩小差距,或特朗普总统是否会选择仅实施与墨西哥的双边贸易协议。

特朗普总统已经设定本周达成协议的最后期限,这促使美国贸易代表莱希特和加拿大外交部长弗里兰德的双方团队周四连夜工作,以移动谈判继续前行。

弗里兰德星期四晚上在美国贸易代表办公室与莱希特短暂会面后对记者说,“我们正在取得进展。”

她再次强调了之前的说法,就是“双方都释出善意”,当天的讨论是“富有建设性和成效的”。

特朗普政府指责加拿大对美国乳制品出口不公平。美国还指出加拿大木材受到不公平的补贴,同时希望取消北美自贸协定第19条中用于反倾销关税纠纷的仲裁小组,加拿大利用这一条捍卫其对美国的木材出口。

第三个悬而未决的问题是加拿大坚持保留原有北美自贸协定中保护其出版和媒体公司不被美国公司收购的文化豁免权。加拿大总理特鲁多本周表示,这对加拿大的主权和身份非常重要。

美国贸易代表莱希特称这一豁免是“文化保护主义”,因为加拿大公司可以自由购买美国媒体。

美国和墨西哥在上周初达成了一项对北美自贸协定全面改写的协议,这给加拿大达成新条款增大压力。

特朗普总统周三表示,他预计加拿大是否会纳入新协议在未来几天内就会明朗。

特朗普总统已通知国会,他打算在11月底前签署上周与墨西哥达成的贸易协议。有关官员表示,协议文本将在10月1日左右公布。  

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.