Canadians flock to D.C. for NAFTA

09/18/2018 – Politico 

architecture-attractions-building-208702A Canadian onslaught is coming to Washington this week, as Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returns for more NAFTA talks (date still TBD) and Ontario Premier Doug Ford flies in for a Wednesday briefing on the status of negotiations — and to push Ottawa to cut a deal.

The visits come during what might be the most crucial week on negotiations: If the Canadians ultimately take seriously the Sept. 30 deadline the U.S. and Mexico have put forward, all sides need some lead time to pull together the technical agreement.

Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo has said they’d need 10 days, which would make Thursday the last day to get a handshake deal, though spokespeople for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer didn’t comment on that timeframe Monday.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t publicly committing to the end of September as the drop-dead date by which a deal must be had. So someone is going to have to show their hand by week’s end.

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