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Canada braces for possible U.S. exit from NAFTA trade pact

Canada braces for possible U.S. exit from NAFTA trade pact

Talks between Mexico, Canada and the USA to renegotiate the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement began in August past year and are still underway, although concerns have been expressed by the United States at the lack of progress.

Those obstacles include several USA demands that both Canada and Mexico view as unacceptable: more-restrictive rules-of-origin for autos, the elimination of a dispute resolution process for antidumping and countervailing duties and a five-year sunset clause on the treaty as a whole.

Reuters reported earlier Wednesday that Canada is "increasingly convinced" Trump will abandon renegotiation talks and announce he is initiating the withdrawal process.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a town hall in Halifax on Monday, January 16, 2017.

The Canadian dollar trades down 0.91% at 1.2575 per dollar.

President Trump, who railed against NAFTA as one of the worst trade deals ever on the campaign trail, has said that major changes are needed to make the trade treaty more fair to the U.S.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Carlos Capistran and Ethan Harris say the decision to withdraw from NAFTA wouldn't solve Trump's issues with the deal, which include the U.S. trade deficit with other countries and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

That leaves all three sides with large differences to reconcile when they meet in Montreal Jan. 23 to begin a week of talks. The three countries have agreed to host joint negotiations through March.

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