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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on May 1, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on May 1, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Freeland will visit Mexico next week to discuss NAFTA renegotiations Add to ...

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday she would travel to Mexico next week to discuss renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which U.S. President Donald Trump says needs major changes.

Freeland also told parliament that Canada wanted all three member nations to be at the table for the formal talks, which she indicated should start later this year.

Freeland says reworked NAFTA could have labour, environmental benefits (The Canadian Press)

Canada and Mexico both send the majority of their exports to the United States and could be badly hurt if Trump goes ahead with a threat to rip up the pact unless it is reformed.

Freeland said she was in very close contact with Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, who are leading the NAFTA file.

“Next week I am travelling to Mexico to meet with my counterparts there,” she said.

Several members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told them on Tuesday they would prefer the current three-nation format but left open the possibility of parallel bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico.

Freeland told legislators that “our mindset is very much a trilateral deal – all three parties must be at the table”.

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