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Top NAFTA officials still in contact, says Canada's Freeland

May 23, 2018  

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Top U.S., Canadian and Mexican officials are in constant contact about slow-moving talks to revitalize NAFTA and are ready to meet at any time to push the process forwards, Canada’s foreign minister told Reuters.

Negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled as Canada and Mexico try to digest U.S. demands for major changes.

U.S. officials have said some kind of a deal is needed in the next few weeks to prevent the negotiations spilling into campaigns for a Mexican presidential vote on July 1 and mid-term elections for the U.S. Congress in November.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told Reuters she had spoken on Monday with her counterparts driving the file – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo – and they had agreed to meet if necessary.

“That was one of the things we talked about yesterday — all of us are able to get on a plane and meet at the moment when that could bounce the negotiations (forwards). So we are in very close, I would say constant, touch,” she told reporters.