19:30 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland

    No Upgraded NAFTA Deal, Talks to Continue Friday - Freeland

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    Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said late Thursday night there is no agreement yet with the United States to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), however, tensed negotiations will resume on Friday, AFP reported.

    New NAFTA US-Canadian Negotiations have entered a critical phase this week after the United States and Mexico announced a new deal on Monday, setting new auto content rules and paving the way for Canada to rejoin talks to revise the 1994 accord that envisages annual trade of more than $1 trillion.

    Chrystia Freeland told reporters Thursday following a fourth meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that there is no deal yet. However, senior officials are rushing to meet a Friday deadline set by Washington to agree on a deal and give US Congress the required 90 days' notice to allow them to sign a new NAFTA by December 1, AFP reported.

    The White House introduced a series of tariffs on foreign imports since March, prompting a backlash from many of Washington's trade partners.

    US President Donald Trump expressed hope Canada may join the US-Mexico trade agreement or reach a similar deal with the United States, but he said the easiest thing is to impose more tariffs on Canadian imports.

    Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Wednesday that rules of origin that apply to automobiles remain a very complicated issue, but added that Ottawa reached a high-level agreement on this matter with Washington in the spring and will continue to work on the issue. She said progress has been significant but important conversations on specific issues remain.

    The minister also noted that Mexico has made "significant concessions" which would benefit Canadian workers

    READ MORE: US Sees Hope in Trade Talks With Canada, But Content With Just Mexico — Mnuchin


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