US, Canada, Mexico ministers say progress made in updating NAFTA


Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, center, talks to Bob Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, next to Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, secretary of economy for Mexico, right, after opening statements during the first round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.Trade ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico said on Tuesday they made
progress in talks to update NAFTA, emphasizing that in some areas, they had consolidated proposals into a single text.The three countries wrapped up the second round of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade agreement, building on the momentum from the first round in Washington two weeks ago.

“Over the past five days, more than two dozen working groups comprised of trade experts and technical officials worked diligently to advance the discussions and exchanged information
and proposals,” the three countries said in a joint statement.

“In several groups, this engagement resulted in the consolidation of proposals into a single text upon which the teams will continue to work throughout the following negotiation rounds,” they added.

The ministers said negotiators will meet for a third round of talks in Ottawa from Sept. 23-27 as they race to rewrite the accord by early next year to avoid conflicts with 2018 election cycles in Mexico and the United States.

They added that the successful conclusion of the negotiations would update NAFTA with new rules to generate economic opportunities for all three countries.

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