Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland arrives at the Office Of The United States Trade Representative, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Tough NAFTA talks ahead for Canada’s Freeland

Canada’s Freeland sits down with U.S. negotiators in Washington

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in high-stakes meetings with her U.S. counterpart this morning in Washington as part of an accelerated search for areas of compromise to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Freeland cancelled her trip to Europe this week to return to the NAFTA bargaining table after the U.S. and Mexico agreed on numerous trade issues throughout their bilateral, summertime talks.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the deal with Mexico on Monday and has pressured Canada to join new agreement by Friday — otherwise he says he will impose devastating tariffs on Canada’s auto sector.

RELATED: Facing new pressures, Canadian negotiators re-enter trade talks with US, Mexico

After being absent from a month of U.S.-Mexican discussions, Canada’s team is back in full force in the American capital for the first time since the spring and Freeland says the negotiators are intensively focused on finding new areas of compromise.

On her way in to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this morning, Freeland said she and her officials had already been hard at work since the crack of dawn, meeting with Mexican negotiators and working the phones.

Freeland says the Mexicans’ tough decision to compromise on labour and wages as part of its auto rules of origin talks with the U.S. has cleared the way for more substantive talks between Washington and Ottawa.

There are now big questions whether Canada is willing to open up access to its controversial supply-managed dairy market or if it will back away from its hard line to preserve NAFTA’s dispute settlement system.

RELATED: Freeland heads to Washington to rejoin high-stakes NAFTA negotiations

The U.S. has demanded that Canada move off its line on both issues as well as others.

Freeland met with the U.S. and Mexican delegations late Tuesday and again early Wednesday morning, and she says she’s hopeful the sides can find common ground — especially now that the U.S. and Mexico have an understanding on how to manage the continental auto industry.

When pressed by reporters, she has not provided details of what Canada might be putting on the table.

Freeland is meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, this morning near the White House.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale on filming horror-thriller in Hope

In an exclusive interview, Dale explains why the town plays a large role in Antlers

Tarl rocks Silver Chalice Saturday

After spending summers in Hope visiting his grandmother, musician Tarl returns to… Continue reading

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read