September 24, 2018
U.S. and Canadian officials trying to reach a deal on NAFTA are “very likely” to hold informal talks on the sidelines of a major U.N. meeting in the next few days, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday.
With time running out ahead of a U.S.-imposed deadline of the end of September, negotiators are making slow progress on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to Reuters.
U.S. President Donald Trump struck a side deal on NAFTA with Mexico last month and has threatened to exclude Canada if necessary. He also said he might impose a 25 percent tariff on Canadian autos exports, which would badly hurt Canada’s economy.
Trump took office last year vowing to tear up NAFTA unless major changes were made to a pact he blames for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer – the two top officials at the talks – are due to be in New York on today and Tuesday for the U.N. General Assembly.