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Canada ‘disappointed’ at UK’s decision to pause free trade talks

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Canada ‘disappointed’ at UK’s decision to pause free trade talks

Ottawa, Jan 26 (IANS) Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng has expressed disappointment over the UK’s decision to pause the bilateral free trade talks.

Talking to reporters, Ng said she is “very confident” that the two sides will get back to the table, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I would encourage my colleagues in the United Kingdom to get back to the table because negotiating is how we get a deal,” she said.

Earlier on Tuesday a British government spokesperson said in a statement that they reserve the right to pause negotiations with any country if progress is not being made, adding that they will remain open to restarting talks with Canada in the future.

According to CBC News, a major sticking point between the two sides remains how much tariff-free access British producers should have to the Canadian cheese market. Canadian dairy farmers want to keep their supply-managed and heavily protected sector out of this deal.

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Talks are also faltering on drafting new rules for automotive trade between the two countries, CBC News said.

Britain is Canada’s third-largest trading partner. The two commonwealth nations started free trade negotiation in 2022 and eight rounds of talks have been completed since then.

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