The following is an excerpt from David Ljunngren | September 30, 2018 | ibtimes.com |
OTTAWA - Canada and the United States on Saturday narrowed their differences in last-ditch talks to save NAFTA but there is no guarantee an agreement will be forged, two Ottawa sources said.
The two nations are trying to find a way to update the North American Free Trade Agreement and prevent it from flying apart. The 1994 pact underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade and its demise would be enormously damaging, say economists.
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to impose auto tariffs on Canada unless it signs a text of an updated agreement by the end of Sunday. Washington already has a deal with Mexico, the third member of NAFTA.
In a sign of the mounting pressure, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland postponed her country’s annual address to the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday to return to Ottawa. Freeland, who has spent many days in Washington over the last month, has no plans to fly back immediately, officials say.
The two sides are talking continuously by phone and a Canadian government source said the tone of the negotiations was positive and intense.
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