Progress in D.C. 'very good' for NAFTA agreement: Ambrose
Published Saturday, April 7, 2018 7:00AM EDT
OTTAWA -- After the eighth round of NAFTA talks turned into high-level meetings between the three countries, Rona Ambrose, a member of Canada’s NAFTA Advisory Council, says signals of a possible agreement in principle on the trade deal is 'very good' news.
"If we can get an agreement in principle... This would be a very good thing for Canada, a good thing for the markets, and a good thing for our economy," said Ambrose in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period.
An agreement in principle, Ambrose explained, would mean that the political trade representatives from Canada, the United States, and Mexcio have "hammered out" an agreement that is then passed on to the negotiators to do the "fine tuning."
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland travelled to Washington, D.C. to hold bilateral and trilateral meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal late last week.
"We have had a constructive couple of days of meetings," Freeland said to reporters after of hours of meetings on Friday, saying they have entered "a new, more intensive phase of engagement."
The three countries have been engaged in talks to renegotiate the trilateral trade agreement for eight months and the recent developments are a marked improvement from what Canadian trade insiders were preparing for a few months ago.
Back in January on CTV’s Question Period, Ambrose said: "It's not if, it's when he’s going to pull the plug," referring to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ambrose said the progress indicates that the stakeholder pressure is working.
"You have to see this as the glass half full compared to where we were months ago. If you think about it, you go from a president that says that this is the worst deal ever signed, to the president himself saying let’s get this deal done as quickly as possible. That is a very good sign," Ambrose said.