WASHINGTON — Canada’s foreign minister found out Thursday why there might only be a few days left to get a NAFTA agreement in 2018.
Chrystia Freeland attended a discussion with top U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
They included the speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, and Kevin Brady, the chair of the House committee that oversees trade legislation.
They shared their view of the so-called fast-track law, which sets the rules for votes on trade deals.
The prevailing view in Washington is that it would likely be impossible to get a vote this year on any agreement reached after around May 18, and if it doesn’t happen this year a new Congress will consider the issue after the midterm elections.
Freeland says it was helpful to hear from lawmakers who actually wrote and are responsible for implementing the U.S. rules.
She says lots of progress has been made this week, and negotiators are closer to success — although the talks have been mostly seized with the issue of autos, giving little space to hard negotiations on other top files.