tv Canadian Foreign Minister on NAFTA Negotiations CSPAN September 1, 2018 5:58pm-6:21pm EDT
president trump saying she wanted canada to strike a deal with the u.s. ahead of the holiday weekend. this comes as president trump announces that the u.s. has reached a trade agreement with mexico. minister freeland: thank you for coming. i am glad to see you all not sweltering in the heat. i will make a few remarks and then i am happy to take questions. [speaking in french] [speaking in french]
we are going to continue working at it. we said from the outset, our objective in these talks is to update and modernize nafta in a way that is good for canadians, good for americans, and good for mexicans. we know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach. that is what we are working toward. with goodwill and flexibility on all sides, i know we can get there. but, as the canadians have heard me say, i pay in canadian -- i am paid in canadian dollars, and my job is to ensure that disagreements for canadian workers, families and business. the government of canada will not sign an agreement unless it is good for canada and good for canadians. in conclusion and before answering your questions, i would like to thank ambassador lighthizer and his team. they have worked hard and in
good faith with us for more than a year, including intense days this week. we have made good progress but there is still work to be done. >> we will take questions, please identify yourself. and your outlet. if you want to follow up, get back in line. [laughter] >> josh with bloomberg news, i want to ask what your message to the u.s. congress is now, whether canada believes that president trump would have the authority to proceed with the bilateral only deal, or if he would need canada to succeed. minister freeland: when it comes to the u.s. legislative process, that is a question for the americans and our american counterparts. that is the message -- that is the question for the americans, and that is their issue.
>> hello, julie gordon. we keep hearing chapter 19 and dairy are the sticking point. -- are the two main sticking points. which are not negotiable, and are there other sticking point you can tell us about? minister freeland: as i said to the reporters who were camped out outside ustr earlier this week, ambassador lighthizer and i agreed that given the absolute intensity of the negotiations right now, we would not be negotiating in public. i am not going to talk about specific issues. sorry. >> president trump had said today was the deadline, it seems like you are going forward on wednesday. are there deadlines to make sure there is a deal? minister freeland: for canada
the focus is on getting a good deal. once we have a good deal for canada, we will be done. >> today, donald trump made comments off the record suggesting the u.s. would not compromise when it came to negotiating with canada. i know you will not get into details, but have you seen any movement from the americans that would suggest that donald trump's characterization of the american negotiating tactics, that characterization is not accurate? minister freeland: as i said, this week and from the beginning of the negotiations, ambassador lighthizer and his team have been negotiating in good faith, and with goodwill. this is a process that began more than a year ago. we made progress, we have done work together.
jerryea here so -- i see here so i cannot neglect to mention the car sector. our starting point was a place where canada and the u.s. were quite far apart in their proposal. but what we found is the -- but what we found is as the negotiation went on, canada and united states shared a concern for our workers in the car sector who are high wage workers who can be disadvantaged by trade agreements. one of the things we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for canadian and u.s. workers in the auto sector. that is important. and that has been a success. due to canada and united states working together, and mexico showing flexibility. >> stephanie with cnbc. you mentioned the auto sector.
how difficult is the pharmaceutical sector and the provisions that would cut canadian drug prices to rise? is that a key sticking point? minister freeland: again, we will not negotiate in public. when it comes to the canadian position on issues, i think our position is clear and well-known. >> how can you negotiate with a guy like donald trump who says he will not give any ground? that is not a negotiation. minister freeland: my negotiationg counterparty, as -- my negotiating counterparty ambassador lighthizer and as i said, he has brought good faith and goodwill to the table. as i also said, it will take flexibility on all sides to get to a deal in the end. what i can speak to as to the canadian position, and i want to assure canadians we are working hard to get a good deal.
>> jackson with global news. with respect to president trump's comments, did you raise those comments with your american counterparts, and did they raise questions about the sincerity of the american negotiating position? what do you say to canadians who wonder if we are being strong-armed? minister freeland: let me be
clear yet again. because it is important, and the importance of reiterating is underscored by your question. canada will only sign a deal which is a good deal for canada. we are very, very clear about that. the prime minister has said that on a number of occasions, including this week, that we want a good deal, not just any deal, and a good deal is one that is good for canada and canadians, a good deal is one which reflects canadian national interests, and in which canadian values are defended. we are absolutely clear about that. i also want to say, as i said in my opening remarks, i have been working with ambassador lighthizer and his team for more than a year, and we have had intense periods of working together, and ambassador
lighthizer and his team are experienced professionals. they absolutely do bring good faith and goodwill to the negotiating table. i think this week we have over the course of a year, we now understand each other's position very well and very clearly, and we are working hard to find those win-win compromises that we need. i will take the next question. >> i am from television mexico. minister freeland: buenos dias. >> buenos dias. you said you were encouraged by the progress mexico made in these six weeks, and that would help your negotiations. would you elaborate, what was present now that was not present
before that made you think that now an agreement was possible and not before? thank you. freeland: that is a really good question and as i have said before, probably for people who have been following the negotiation over the year, i think you will remember the many, many days we spent focusing on rules of origin in the car sector. this is a fiendishly complex issue, and it is the issue which really is at the heart of the nafta negotiations. and in a way in the heart of the nafta relationship that integrated the north american car sector. we have spent for more than a year, all three countries have focused a lot of attention on the rules of origin. i want to take an opportunity to
thank the canadian negotiating team which put forward important ideas on the rules of origin, particularly around the time of the montréal round. rules of origin are complicated, and in order to achieve the landing zone we found, some big changes were required to be made by mexico in particular. i think the important progress that was the most important over the summer was in the rules of origin in the car sector, achieving a deal which required a lot of flexibility from mexico in particular, and thank you for that, that has put us in a place where we can move on to the other issues. and the rules of origin
agreement that was achieved has particular value from my government because our priority has always been middle-class canadians, and people working hard to join the middle-class. and we understand the pressures on working canadians in the 21st century economy. we understand working canadians have sometimes felt that trade agreements have hurt them, and hurt their interests. what is really significant about the rules of origin agreement is it will be good for canadian workers and for american workers. and that is an essential part of this nafta modernization. with fox lawrence business network. were you surprised by the scope of the agreement that was signed between the u.s. and mexico, including digital trade? also, what is your feeling on the intellectual property of companies in general and does it need to be expanded? minister freeland: as i said, i will not negotiate in public.
what i will say though is the negotiations with canada are not complete, and we continue to negotiate with the united states. that is why we are coming back next and we will continue wednesday talking until we reach a good deal. >> bill thompson. agripulse. you said canada will only accept a good deal. minister freeland: that is right. i hope you don't think canada would not look for a good deal. >> i cannot imagine that. minister freeland: good. >> can you consider a deal that does not include a continuation of the dairy supply management? minister freeland: i used to be a reporter, and i understand the extreme frustration everyone here is feeling. it really hurts me to be
imposing that frustration on the hard-working reporters here. but, let me reiterate that the canadian national interests and canadian values are at the core of our negotiating approach, our negotiating priorities. the core canadian positions are well-known. i think by everyone and certainly by our negotiating partners. and having said that, as we are in this intense period, i am absolutely convinced that ambassador lighthizer and i agreed that the best way to get a good deal was not to be negotiating in public. i am going to stay true to that agreement. >> thank you, minister. inside u.s. trade -- i want to ask about the steel and aluminum
tariffs. will canada accept a deal that does not include lifting those tariffs? and would you accept a quota arrangement? minister freeland: so, on the steel and aluminum tariffs, canada has said from the outset of the considerations that this was an issue separate from nafta, and that is not an opinion, that is a matter of fact. section 232 is a national security consideration, it is not one of the nafta negotiating chapters. having said that, we very much are opposed to these tariffs. they are unjustified and they are illegal. the notion that somehow canadian could pose ainum
national threat to the u.s. is frankly absurd. we are very clear about that. >> that is all the time we have. minister freeland: thank you very much. i will see quite a few of you next wednesday. i look forward to that. >> this weekend, c-span's city tour takes as to flagstaff, arizona. with the help of our partners, we will explore the literary life of flagstaff. located 80 miles south of the grand canyon. today at 7:00 eastern on book tv, the author don, talks about his book, the history of the grand canyon. >> a quarter of the way into the
grand canyon, 70 miles east of here and from here, another 200 miles to the west. right here is where the canyon for starts to widen and deepen and turn into the classic views that you see in most photographs, calendars, or famous images. >> on sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv, a visit to the level observatory -- lowell observatory. then, a tour of the national monument. >> many might think of this site as abandoned and empty but it still is a very important and living site for a lot of the descendents of the ancestral pueblo people that live in the area. helping people might come here to do ceremonies and pay homage to their ancestors. they believe their ancestors are still here.
this is still a very important site for many people in the southwest. watch c-span's city tour of flagstaff, arizona today at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span twos book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3, working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> this labor day weekend, american history tv on c-span3 has three days of featured programming starting tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern with lectures in history as matt harris discusses the anti-slavery movement before the civil war. sunday at 10:00 a.m. on oral histories, our women in congress history continues with barbara can l.a.. at 8:00 p.m. on the presidency, a look at the relationship between george washington and alexander hamilton and the historical accuracy of
"hamilton, the musical." and the white house association's presidential site summit. watch american history tv on c-span3. the white house did not release a presidential address this weekend. in this week's mr craddick address, ahead of labor day, ohio senator sherrod brown talks about efforts to raise wages and benefits were american workers. senator brown: i'm sherrod brown, senator from ohio, and don't you dare call our state the rust belt. it demeans our workers, it devalues our work. think about what martin luther king said, "all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance." he told the local 1199 hospital workers union, "no labor is really menial unless you're not getting adequate wages" -- something that's too often the case today. all work has dignity. that's what labor day is all about.