OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – The ministers tasked with leading negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be in Montreal for longer than expected for another round of upcoming talks.
The sixth round of talks are set to begin on Sunday, two days earlier than originally planned, and will wrap up just over a week later on Jan. 29th. That’s when the ministers in charge for Canada, Mexico and the US will hold a news conference to talk about what they’ve achieved.
Pressure is building for some sort of progress, and Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Ottawa is pretty optimistic. “We’re looking forward to this next round. We’ve said we have some constructive ideas on how to make a difference, in terms of moving forward.”
Morneau adds Canada has some creative solutions to propose to end the stalemate on some contentious issues. “We’re continuing to work diligently with our Mexican partners and our American partners to make progress. We’re looking forward to this next round.”
Canada may be offering some compromises on rejected demands from the Americans on auto parts, the dairy sector and dispute settlements.
US President Donald Trump continues to send mixed messages as fears rise that he could follow through on his threat to rip up the trade deal.
The current schedule of talks ends in March, and after that Mexico will be embroiled in an election campaign, followed by legislative elections in the US.