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Canada's Freeland to hold NAFTA talks in Washington on Tuesday

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

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington on Tuesday for talks aimed at rescuing the North American Free Trade Agreement as time was running short before an October 1 deadline.

Canada's envoy - Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland - left a meeting with U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer Tuesday night.

As Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived back in Washington, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned of what he termed "massive disruption" and job loses on both sides of the border if Washington follows through on threats to impose auto tariffs.

Trudeau and his ministers will hold a caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to plot their strategy. After more than a year of talks, Canada and the United States are still trying to resolve differences over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which also includes Mexico.

A couple of weeks ago the White House announced a new NAFTA deal between the USA and Mexico, which they sent up to Congress for possible consideration.

He also warned that the US and Mexico would move forward bilaterally without Canada.

"We're looking for a deal which is good for Canadians, which is good for Canadian workers, which is good for Canadian families (and) good for Canadian farmers", Freeland said on "The West Block".

"Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but US officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office.

Trudeau has said Canada could be willing to be flexible on dairy.

To the south, Trump's agriculture secretary suggested deeper concessions would be coming from the Canadians over Canada's system of managing supply and prices in the dairy sector.

After leaving the U.S. Trade Representative offices following an initial meeting on Tuesday, Freeland described a positive atmosphere as the two sides work "extremely intensively".

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.

No word yet on when she might return to Washington to continue NAFTA talks.

"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", she said of the anniversary. "I can't read the tea leaves, but. coming back and saying, "Sorry, we couldn't get an agreement" is just too hard politically to manage" on both sides, Sosnow said.

"We have been very clear on that, that there can not be more access given", Wiens said in a telephone interview.

President Trump has voiced his willingness to create a separate deal than the one made with Mexico.

In June, U.S. President Donald Trump slapped Canada with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. "He's railed against this thing (NAFTA) and they've been at the negotiating table for now over a year".

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