The NAFTA signing ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 7, 1992. Pat Sullivan/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
UPDATED November 22, 2017 1:32pmET
NAFTA negotiators will reconvene in late January in Montreal for a sixth round of formal talks, with no firm deal yet to adjust the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to reporters in Ottawa this week about the close of round five between Canada, Mexico, and the United States:
The official trilateral statement said: “chief negotiators concentrated on making progress with the aim of narrowing gaps and finding solutions. As a result, progress was made in a number of chapters.”
Compare that to the statement following the fourth round in mid-October:
Parties have now put forward substantially all initial text proposals. New proposals have created challenges and Ministers discussed the significant conceptual gaps among the Parties. Ministers have called upon all negotiators to explore creative ways to bridge these gaps. To that end, the Parties plan on having a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round to assess all proposals.
With U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer voicing concern that American demands weren’t being accepted, even citing a “resistance to change” from Canada and Mexico, Freeland defended her government’s approach:
Chrystia Freeland on NAFTA talks: encountered “unconventional proposals…that make our work much more challenging” & “turn back the clock” pic.twitter.com/nhLUrszDgx
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) October 17, 2017
More on NAFTA:
- Trade Talk: The Video Record
- Trade Talk: Mapping NAFTA
- Trade Talk: The Numbers
- Trade Talk: The American View