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.