Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister told the nation’s lawmakers this week negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement would start in August, the earliest possible by U.S. law. Chrystia Freeland briefed Canadian lawmakers Monday on the negotiation process. She says a time crunch is looming, with the U.S. and Mexico in the biggest hurry to start talks. The Canadian Press reports pre-negotiation consultations will take several months. Then, once talks begin between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., there are only a few months left before political obstacles start popping up, causing potential delays. Those obstacles include the 2018 presidential elections in Mexico and the U.S. midterm election cycle. Currently, the three countries are consulting with domestic partners as they prepare for negotiating positions. Negotiations can begin any time after August 16th, after a 90-day consolation period required by U.S. law.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.