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Trudeau: Canada will not compromise on key NAFTA demands

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Trudeau: Canada will not compromise on key NAFTA demands

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would not compromise on key demands when the U.S. and Canada resume talks Sept. 5 to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, Reuters reported.

"There are a number of things we absolutely must see in a renegotiated NAFTA," Trudeau reportedly said. "No NAFTA is better than a bad NAFTA deal for Canadians, and that's what we are going to stay with."

U.S. President Donald Trump recently threatened to exclude Canada from NAFTA if it failed to reach a "fair deal for the U.S."

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington after the U.S. and Mexico last week agreed to terms on their portion of the trilateral accord.

The biggest sticking point is Canada's insistence on retaining a dispute-resolution system that allows member states to challenge trade penalties imposed by the others. Lighthizer has proposed scrapping the system, contained in NAFTA's Chapter 19.

But Trudeau said, "We will not sign a deal that is bad for Canadians, and quite frankly, not having a Chapter 19 to ensure the rules are followed would be bad for Canadians."

He further said that current safeguards banning U.S. media firms from purchasing Canadian cultural industries such as newspapers and television stations need to be maintained.

Other issues include U.S. access to the Canadian dairy market; intellectual property; and duty-free treatment of small amounts of goods purchased in the U.S. The U.S. and Canada also still need to address U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, which prompted retaliatory tariffs from Ottawa.