Apr 06, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland – is dropping hints that some sort of a new NAFTA deal – could be close.

Freeland came out to brief reporters mid-way through a day-long meeting in Washington – with her U-S and Mexican counterparts – and said the countries have entered a new, more intensive stage of engagement – saying it’s normal for the pace of progress to pick up – the closer you get to the end of a trade agreement.

She says talks over the past two days have been “constructive and intensive” and the higher pace will continue “in the coming days.”

Sources said today’s meetings are key if there is to be a renegotiated NAFTA this spring – before Mexico elects a new president – the U-S elects a new Congress – and procedural rules make a ratification vote in Congress impossible this year.

Freeland wouldn’t clarify or discuss what issues remain unresolved – but said she   believed the rules of origin for autos is quote — “the most fiendishly complex part of the agreement.”


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