NAFTA ministers to hold special meeting on thorniest issues

Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to the media as she arrives for the first day of a cabinet retreat in London Ontario on Thursday Jan. 11 2018. The meeting comes a day after the loonie and Mexican peso plunged after reports tha

FxWirePro: NAFTA developments to activate long CAD against short RUB, USD call switch of far-month tenors

The Canadian dollar steadied against the greenback on Thursday after hitting a almost two-week low earlier in the session as investors weighed chances of a Bank of Canada interest rate hike next week and anxious about NAFTA.

The Trudeau government appears to have adopted a good-cop, bad-cop strategy for saving NAFTA - coming up with some "creative" new proposals in response to unpalatable USA demands while simultaneously signalling its willingness to aggressively attack what it considers unfair American trade practices.

The Montreal talks are due to take place from January 23 to 28, though Castanon said some discussions would start from January 21. A party's withdrawal takes effect six months after it provides written notice to the other member countries - Canada and Mexico. "The Government of Saskatchewan supports the federal government conducting a focused and determined effort to conclude a new NAFTA agreement", Wall said in a statement.

A White House spokesman said on Wednesday there had been no change in Trump's position on NAFTA.

Scrapping NAFTA would not only damage GOP campaign plans, but it would also be likely to set off a fierce legal battle over whether or not Trump has the unilateral authority to make the decision without congressional approval.

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Trump has boasted about remarkable stock market performances frequently this month, tweeting last week that the Dow Jones passing 25,000 should be the "biggest story on earth!"

Yet while it would be a disruption, a new report by BMO Capital Markets suggests it would not be catastrophic for Canada. Termination of NAFTA, and a reversion to World Trade Organization level tariffs, would knock around one per cent off that growth, BMO estimated.

But in the words of BMO chief economist Doug Porter, termination would be a "manageable risk" to which policy-makers, businesses and markets would adjust in relatively short order. Congressional Republicans, especially those from border states whose economies depend on trade, have urged the Trump administration to modernize NAFTA, rather than risking the economic consequences of ending it.

But the truth is, if it wasn't that, it would be something else.

One of the Canadian government sources also said later it was not certain that Trump would move against the treaty and that Ottawa was prepared for many scenarios.

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