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Canada's prime minister warns US it would be making a mistake to reopen NAFTA

Canada's prime minister warns US it would be making a mistake to reopen NAFTA

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday the United States should not reopen talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement as the two U.S. Democratic presidential hopefuls have proposed.
Harper warned that renewed talks would give Canada the chance to renegotiate the pact so that it is more favorable to his country.
"If any American government chose to make the mistake of reopening that we would have some things we would want to talk about as well," Harper said.
Trade minister David Emerson said Wednesday it would be unwise for the U.S. to renegotiate NAFTA because the it has a good deal when it comes to access to Canada's oil.
Emerson noted that Canada is the largest energy supplier to the U.S.
The 15-year-old trade pact is unpopular with blue-collar workers in the U.S. Some argue it has cost the country jobs.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have threatened to invoke NAFTA's six-month termination clause if it is not re-negotiated.
Harper told Canadian legislators Thursday that he does not think an American president would reopen the deal with Canada and Mexico.
Emerson did not say Wednesday that Canada would insist on putting access to Canadian oil back on the table, but the provision in the deal has been a major concern to Canadian critics who argue that Canada would not be able to claim preferential treatment in a crisis.
Under the trade agreement, Canada is prohibited from cutting off oil exports to the U.S. if there is a worldwide shortage or supply disruption unless supplies are also rationed to Canadian consumers by the same amount.
Canada's western province of Alberta is home to vast oil sands reserves, a tar-like bitumen that is extracted using mining techniques. Industry officials estimate the region holds as much as 175 billion barrels of recoverable oil, making Canada second only to Saudi Arabia in crude oil reserves.


Updated : 2021-08-01 00:10 GMT+08:00