WASHINGTON, Sept 11, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The 17th anniversary of the 9/11
attacks is a reminder of the need for close cooperation between Ottawa and
Washington, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday during
trade talks in Washington.
“I think that remembering today, and what happened today, maybe that helps
us all to put into perspective the negotiations that we’re having,” Freeland
told reporters, noting the “importance and significance” of US-Canadian ties.
“At the end of the day, we’re neighbors,” Freeland said. “At the end of the
day, neighbors help each other when they need help.”
Talks have been underway for a year to renegotiate the nearly 25-year-old
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after US President Donald Trump
threatened during his electoral campaign to withdraw from the deal he said
was a disaster for US workers.
US and Canadian officials have held intensive talks in the past two weeks
in an effort bridge differences over a re-written NAFTA.
Washington and Mexico City announced an agreement in late August and
Trump’s administration has informed Congress it plans to sign a new treaty by
November 30, including Canada if possible.
Major stumbling blocks for Ottawa and Washington remain: an international
system for resolving disputes, Canada’s protected dairy industry and Canadian
“We’re negotiating all this at once. These are complicated subjects and
there’s still some distance” separating the two sides, said one source close
to the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe pending
Still, “with a bit of flexibility, things could move quickly.”
After meeting US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Freeland was due
to depart Washington later in the day to attend this week’s meetings of the
ruling Liberal Party of Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.