There are reports that the odds are increasing that the U.S. will serve notice to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mexico, Canada and the United States have been renegotiating NAFTA since August, at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has alleged that the 23-year-old agreement has harmed his country and has threatened to withdraw from it.
The federal government says it's hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
"Canada is prepared for every eventuality, and that is a whole of government preparation".
The meeting will take place as part of the upcoming sixth round of negotiations, to be hosted by Montreal, Canada on January 23-28, and could move up the round of talks to January 21, said Castanon. However, the chances of a new trade deal being reached seem increasingly remote and were made even more unlikely after Canada filed a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization on Wednesday against the US over the long running softwood lumber dispute. "I think it would be especially bad for this region because we're so closely integrated into the USA economy", said Anderson. "I understand that makes it a little bit hard for them".
This week, Canada launched a wide-ranging, 32-page complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the USA, challenging American anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.
I'm glad to see that Canada is standing up to the bully when it comes to global trade.
"I think the American colleagues also understand when you stand strong and sending a message that says we will stand up for the forestry industry, we will stand up for our aerospace industry, we'll stand up for Canadian workers", he said.
The two other sources, who are involved in the trade talks and asked not to be named, said that Mexico remains firm on its position to get up and leave from the negotiating table if Trump goes through with the move. "It's still a conversation we are having with the industry".
He added even if the USA does announce it plans to pull out, that may not be a final decision and the action would not be immediate.