A confidential briefing for President Donald Trump’s transition team flagged Canada’s dairy policies and the “deeply rooted” softwood lumber dispute as trade issues to watch.
Briefing notes from the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR), obtained by CBC News under the United States Freedom of Information Act, outline 17 trade issues or disputes – four of which directly involve Canada. Others involve China, the European Union, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia.
The document includes a warning in red type at the top of each page that the information is “for the use of authorized representatives of the president-elect’s transition team only. Subsequent disclosure of this information to an unauthorized individual, including unauthorized members of the president-elect’s transition team, is strictly prohibited.”
While the document is undated, references in the text indicate it was prepared in December 2016.
CBC obtained the document as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to meet Trump in coming weeks. On Friday, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that a date is expected soon for Trudeau to come to the U.S. to meet Trump.
As the Trump administration settles in and begins to implement its agenda, countries around the world have been watching closely, anxious to see what effect the administration will have on trade.
Seeking clues on what’s coming around trade
Canadian Press reported Friday that some are looking for clues in documents such as the U.S. National Trade Estimate’s annual report on foreign barriers. The report was cited in a September 2016 policy paper written for Trump’s campaign by Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro – who have both been appointed to senior roles.
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