Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

Canada’s foreign minister says she updated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning on the state of play in the NAFTA talks before heading into another negotiating session.

Chrystia Freeland and U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer are back at the table as time marches on towards a congressional deadline for a three-way North American deal before the end of the month.

But Freeland insists she’s not watching the clock.

RELATED: Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Rather, she says Canada’s negotiating team is focused on finding a compromise that meets the needs of all three countries as they work to modernize a trade agreement that governs $2-billion worth of trade every day.

RELATED: U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

It’s been 13 months since the effort began — a time frame Freeland says is “absolutely normal,” given the complex and multifaceted nature of North American trade.

Not everyone agrees: senior Republicans on Capitol Hill have been agitating, pressing Canada to hurry up and make a deal.

The Canadian Press

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