Canadian negotiators brief Ontario's premier as NAFTA talks resume in Washington
Canada's top officials are back in Washington today to resume high-level trade negotiations with the Trump administration.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to return to the U.S. Trade Representative's office with her negotiating team and advisers at around 11 a.m. ET.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday evening. According to Trudeau's office, the prime minister "reaffirmed his commitment to a deal that works for both countries."
The call followed a day of rising tension on both sides, with Freeland insisting that Canada's refusal to sign a bad deal wasn't simply rhetoric, while one of Trump's loyalists in Congress, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, issued a statement expressing frustration over how long Canada is taking to join the preliminary deal the U.S. worked out with Mexico last month and warning of Congressional actions if it fails to do so.
Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has travelled to Washington and has a day of meetings planned at the Canadian embassy. He's expected to arrive there at around 9:30 a.m. ET.
Since taking office, Ford has expressed his support for Canada's supply-managed farm sector, joining Quebec's premier in voicing support for the dairy industry.
"Farm jobs are not a bargaining chip," he told reporters before leaving for Washington Tuesday.
In Ottawa, the Dairy Farmers of Canada have called a press conference to express their concerns over concessions Canada may be making at the table. CBC News will carry their comments live at 10 a.m. ET.
Trump has indicated that dairy concessions will be required of Canada in order to reach a deal.
Negotiators are working towards a deadline indicated by Mexican negotiators last week: in order to have text of a potential agreement ready by the end of the month, all three countries need to agree on a broad outline for a trilateral agreement by Thursday, giving drafters 10 days to work out the final details.
Wednesday's talks are not expected to include Mexican negotiators, however, as the U.S. and Canada continue to work through their sticking points.
The end of September deadline was set in the hopes of hitting the Congressional timeline required for a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement to be signed before Mexico's presidency changes hands on Dec.1.