Canada's Freeland returns to Washington for NAFTA talks

Sainte-Marie-Madelaine Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Ryan Remiorz

Sainte-Marie-Madelaine Quebec. THE CANADIAN PRESS Ryan Remiorz

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement continued on Tuesday, as Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland sat down with USA trade officials and struck a positive tone, speaking with reporters.

Canadian Foreign Minister and US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer will meet on Tuesday to try to hammer out the final complex details of a North American agreement with the aim of including all three countries in the 24-year-old deal, reports The Hill.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said just last week that the process was needed, because Trump "doesn't always follow the rules."

After her stop in Washington, Freeland is due to attend this week's meetings of the governing Liberal Party of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The United States and Mexico reached an agreement on overhauling NAFTA at the beginning of last week, turning up the pressure on Canada to agree to new terms. In April 2017, Trump almost withdrew from NAFTA after becoming angered by the plight of Wisconsin dairy farmers whose milk protein exports to Canada had been cut off by the Class 7 pricing scheme.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, center, speaks to reporters in Washington D.C., recently.

The dairy system, or supply management as it is known, falls outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Representatives from both sides have expressed their preference to keep a NAFTA deal intact.

"Canada wants to make a deal".

US dairy farmers have long demanded more access to Canada's market and also are unhappy about a Canadian decision to allow farmers to sell milk protein products to the country's processors at a lower price, cutting off American supplies.

Daniel Ujczo, a US trade lawyer who has worked for both the Canadian and the USA governments, rejects the notion that Canada and the United States are at a stalemate.

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump slapped Canada with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Freeland said the memorials should help to add some context to the ongoing negotiations on free trade that were started at Trump's behest.

"I think this is a complicated time for employees".

"At the end of the day, we're neighbors", Freeland said.

"The conversations over the weekend continued to be constructive and productive", she said. "That's not who we are", Craft said in prepared remarks.

"The U.S. knows what Canada's tough issues are, so they're going to hold those to the end, and squeeze out concessions on every other issue they can", said Ujczo, who is regularly briefed on the talks.

Experts note that the desire to make a trade deal happen is influenced by upcoming political events, including the US midterm elections in November, a transition of presidential power in Mexico in December and next year's Canadian election.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars".

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