Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, left, arrives at the Office of The United States Trade Representative in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

NAFTA negotiations continue with little (public) progress reported

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The back and fourth of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations continued Tuesday on both sides of the border.

As Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived back in Washington, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned of what he termed “massive disruption” and job loses on both sides of the border if Washington follows through on threats to impose auto tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, threw cold water on any talk of a quick resolution to outstanding NAFTA issues in April after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a ‘good deal’ is on the table. Five months later, there are little public signs of any resolution of contentious issues. (Canadian Press)

“I think it’s something that we obviously have to be aware (of), that the president is contemplating, but we don’t negotiate differently because of pressure tactics like that,” Trudeau told a radio audience in Winnipeg.

Freeland was set to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthnizer before heading to Saskatchewan for a Liberal Party caucus meeting and could be returning to the U.S. capital later in the week.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA entirely and the future of the trade agreement is still unclear as negotiations continue in Washington. (cbc.ca)

Negotiators appear focused primarily on three key issues: dairy, culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month.

Meanwhile, figures provided to CBC News show that Canada collected nearly $300 million in July and August after Ottawa slapped U.S. imports with retaliatory tariffs.

With files from CP, CBC, CTV, Global

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