After several days of intense free-trade negotiations in Washington, D.C., Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland addressed reporters on Aug. 31. This is an edited transcript.
We’re continuing to work very hard and we’re making progress, but we’re not there yet. This is a very complex agreement and we’re going to continue working at it.
As we said from the outset, our objective in these talks is to update and modernize NAFTA in a way that is good for Canadians, good for Americans and good for Mexicans. We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach and that’s what we’re working towards. With goodwill and flexibility on all sides, I know we can get there.
But, as Canadians have heard me say before, I’m paid in Canadian dollars and my job is to ensure that this agreement works for Canadian workers, Canadian families and Canadian business. The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it’s good for Canada and good for Canadians.
In conclusion, and before answering your questions, I’d like to thank Ambassador Lighthizer and his team. They have worked hard—and in good faith–with us for more than a year, including some very intense days this week. We’ve made good progress but there’s still work to be done.