Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

Decision day dawns as intensive NAFTA effort nears U.S.-imposed deadline

WASHINGTON — The fall finale to Canada’s long-running NAFTA drama may — or may not — finally be at hand.

Despite encouraging signs, it’s still far from clear whether the federal government will end the day as part of a trilateral free trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico on the eve of a key congressional deadline.

In Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Ambassador David MacNaughton have been taking part in an aggressive, long-distance, last-minute push to get a deal done over the weekend.

Even Justin Trudeau has been reportedly pulled into the fray, on what’s usually a personal day for the prime minister, his itinerary says he’ll spend today in “private meetings.”

And Hassan Yussuff, the head of the Canadian Labour Congress and a member of the government’s NAFTA advisory council, was summoned to Washington for a briefing this morning.

Canada has been insisting on preserving the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution mechanism and securing protection from U.S. President Donald Trump’s penchant for punishing tariffs on imports like steel, aluminum and autos.

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