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

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives to the U.S. Trade Representative building for a new round of trade talks on Wednesday Sept. 5 2018 in Washington

Canada is ready to offer the United States limited access to the Canadian dairy market as a concession in negotiations to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, two Canadian sources with direct knowledge of Ottawa's negotiating strategy said on Tuesday.

Freeland said that discussions between U.S. and Canadian negotiating teams over the weekend were "constructive and productive", so she flew in for what may be the only a day of talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

U.S. President Donald Trump has set a Friday deadline for the three countries to reach an agreement, which would allow outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign it before he leaves office at the end of November.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during an interview Tuesday with a Winnipeg radio station, CJOB, that there are certain positions Canada has and remain firm on. Under U.S. trade negotiating laws, a text for that agreement is due by October 1.

The renegotiation of the 24-year-old NAFTA, which also includes Mexico and is integral to the continent's economy, has dragged on for 13 months.

Freeland is expected to answer questions from reporters later this afternoon.

On Monday, Trudeau provided little information when asked by prominent US journalist Katie Couric for an update on the negotiations during an on-stage interview. Couric asked Trudeau during the Women in the World Canada summit in Toronto.

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Hampson noted that former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who pressured Washington for years on the need for a treaty to curb acid rain, only succeeded when George H.W. Bush replaced Ronald Reagan as president. Couric continued: "I'm trying to make a little news here people".

Considering manufacturing interests were pro-NAFTA in 1994 and continues to derive benefits from the treaty today, North Americans can expect whatever replaces that deal to continue with Canada well into the future regardless of how long these negotiations take.

"For this government to go out and be seen as giving too much to the American side on agriculture, and dairy in particular, would be ... nearly suicidal politically", Charest said.

Trudeau, whose federal Liberal government relies on support from Ontario and Quebec where most dairy farmers live, has said he will defend Canada's dairy industry, without giving details.

Trump added a layer of urgency to the negotiations late last month after announcing his deal with Mexico.

While modest progress on trade tensions would leave many unresolved issues, the trajectory of talks with Mexico, Canada and trading partners in Europe suggests the Trump administration may forgo imposing more tariffs on its allies, while momentum builds for a dramatic escalation in a trade war with China.

The independent panel ruled that about $1.21 billion in such paper imports from Canada were not harming USA producers.

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