Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks on Tuesday as time runs short

Eileen GuzmanSep 14, 2018

"This isn't like some of the other NAFTA rounds where people were introducing poison pills for political reasons or otherwise", he said. "The atmosphere is definitely productive, constructive, we're working hard, we have a little more work to do now, and then we're going to come back to talk more".

"There's a range of things we've been firm on and will continue to be firm on, but there's also things we're looking to be flexible because it's time to update this deal after 25 years", he said Tuesday in an interview with Winnipeg radio station CJOB.

Freeland said on Friday she and Lighthizer were making "very good progress" in talks to save NAFTA amid increasing Canadian optimism that a deal can be reached. Perdue says: "Class 7 has got to go". "That I know for sure, right from the horse's mouth".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday for talks aimed at rescuing the North American Free Trade Agreement as time was running short before an October 1 deadline. She said she spoke with Lighthizer over the weekend and they agreed it would be useful for them to meet again face to face.

"That has been the right decision", Freeland said late Tuesday of the mutual agreement to avoid publicly disclosing details of the talks.

What should Canada do at the NAFTA negotiating table?

Canada's main stock market started the week down for seventh-straight day amid an off-day for any headlines on NAFTA as negotiations are set to resume Tuesday.

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", she said of the anniversary.

Lighthizer faces pressure on dairy from U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who wants more Canadian access for milk producers from the northern part of his home state of NY.

The in-person, high-level negotiations got back underway as events marking the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks took place around the USA, including at the Pentagon with Vice President Mike Pence, not far from where the trade meetings are taking place.

US officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month.

President Donald Trump warned Friday that he would impose 20-per-cent tariffs on auto imports from Canada if it does not agree to a "fair" deal, a move he said would bring "ruination" here.

"There is no question Canada and Mexico are going to get a haircut and the best you can hope for when you get a haircut is that it looks stylish", Mr. Ujczo said.

The hope is for a trilateral agreement in principle that Congress can approve before Mexico's new president takes office on December 1.

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