(image from Variety.com https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/trump-state-of-the-union-ratings-1202682703/)

Tensions are high between Canada and our neighbours to the south.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has returned to Washington D.C. to resume heated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations. The 24-year-old trade agreement has been under renegotiation for a long 13 months.

Freeland said both sides are “continuing to work very hard” in a recent press release, though she stresses that Canada will not sign a deal unless it is in the best interest of Canadians.

Prime Minister Trudeau echoed this stance in a recent radio interview in Winnipeg. “We remain focused on what’s in the interests of Canadians and what’s in the interests of our workers and our country’s economy.”

While President Trump has promised “punitive tariffs” if a deal is not reached, Trudeau says that Canada will not bend to threats.

“I think it’s something that we obviously have to be aware (of), that the president is contemplating,” said Trudeau. “But we don’t negotiate differently because of pressure tactics like that.”

Negotiations to continue through the week

Recently, on August 31, Robert E. Lighthizer, Trump’s NAFTA negotiator, said in a statement that “today the president notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico — and Canada, if it is willing — 90 days from now.”

If this time frame holds true, Canada and the U.S. have roughly until the end of November to reach a deal over these contentious negotiations.

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