Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland talk to reporters outside the United States Trade Representative building in Washington, Thursday Sept. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Luis Alonso Lugo)

Canada, U.S. to resume NAFTA talks after late night Freeland, Lighthizer chat

Freeland called that meeting constructive along with the earlier two-hour session with Lighthizer at his office near the White House.

Canadian and American negotiators resume their talks today on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The talks continue after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s late night, 20-minute meeting with her U.S. counterpart, trade czar Robert Lighthizer on Thursday.

Freeland called that meeting constructive along with the earlier two-hour session with Lighthizer at his office near the White House.

Freeland offered few details, sticking to her mantra of not wanting to negotiate in public — an agreement struck with Lighthizer as an act of good faith.

The two sides still have to resolve differences on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

Canada and the U.S. are trying to agree on a text that could be submitted to the U.S. Congress by month’s end in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico last week.

“It was important to discuss a couple of issues face-to-face,” Freeland said Thursday night without elaborating.

The overall goal of this week’s talks is to reach a deal by Dec. 1 so Congress can give its approval to a revised three-country NAFTA before Mexico’s new president takes office.

Related: Trump and Trudeau muse about walking away from NAFTA deal

Related: Liberals won’t compromise on culture, dispute resolution in NAFTA talks: Trudeau

The Canadian Press

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