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Problematic U.S. proposals mean hard way forward for NAFTA: Canadian official

OTTAWA _ A senior Canadian foreign ministry official says it is hard to see a way forward in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations because of a series of “problematic” proposals by the Trump administration.

Martin Moen, the director general of the North American and investment division at Global Affairs Canada, says they include recent U.S. proposals on increasing American content in automobiles, a five-year sunset clause and doing away with a dispute settlement mechanism.

But Moen suggests the so-called Buy American proposal that U.S. negotiators tabled during the recently completed fourth round might be the most difficult to swallow.

Moen says the U.S. proposed a dollar-for-dollar approach that would lead to “very limited” access for Canadian firms, because their country’s economy is so much smaller.

Moen says that would render the NAFTA chapter on government procurement “meaningless.”

He says in a luncheon speech, however, that Canada remains committed to continuing the talks.