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Canada voices optimism on NAFTA, says auto deal reached

Staff Writer |
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said bilateral talks with the Trump administration toward a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) kicked off in earnest Wednesday, and reiterated her optimism about success now that issues related automobiles is largely resolved.

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Speaking to reporters in Washington ahead of a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, she said the U.S. and Canada had “reached a high-level agreement” in the spring on the trade of automobiles and car parts.

The revelation could be an effort to counter an emerging narrative that Canada was left out of the loop on what the U.S. and Mexico were negotiating.

The U.S.-Mexico preliminary agreement, unveiled Monday, requires cars to contain a greater percentage of components that originate in North America, and stipulates nearly half of the auto content must be produced by workers earning at least $16 an hour.

Freeland said Canadian workers stand to benefit from the “significant concessions” Mexico agreed to.

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