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Freeland, Lighthizer resume NAFTA talks as Trump's Friday deadline looms

Last Updated Aug 30, 2018 at 10:29 am PDT

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks at a press conference in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, August 6, 2018 as MP Randy Boissonnault looks on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong

WASHINGTON – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the time has come to make decisions on the future of NAFTA.

She says around-the-clock work by officials has armed negotiating teams with the documents they need to start making some concrete calls as the U.S. and Canada accelerate their effort to wrap up the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Freeland has been in meetings in Washington this week with her American counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Their officials worked late into the night to find areas of common ground and compromise.

“Our officials did some work, they prepared some issues for me and Ambassador Lighthizer to take some decisions,” Freeland told reporters Thursday during a pause in the talks.

“We’re about to go in, continue negotiating and do precisely that.”

This week’s new round of U.S.-Canada negotiations has generated hopeful signals from both camps that a deal could be struck by the end of the week. Freeland also met with Lighthizer on both Tuesday and Wednesday.