Canada and the United States will make a final push to iron out differences on a pact to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Friday, with Mexico on standby to return to talks aimed at ending a year of hard-fought negotiations.
"Maybe that helps us all put into perspective the negotiations that we're having - and also put into a little bit of historical perspective the importance and the significance of the relationship between Canada and the United States", Freeland told reporters outside the offices of her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Mulroney said Justin Trudeau phoned him last weekend to discuss the NAFTA situation and the two spoke for an hour.
Trudeau and his ministers will hold a caucus retreat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to plot their strategy.
us president Donald Trump threatened Friday to impose a 20 per cent tariff on cars if a NAFTA agreement can't be reached with Canada.
Major stumbling blocks for Ottawa and Washington remain: an global system for resolving disputes, Canada's protected dairy industry and Canadian cultural subsidies.
Freeland also appeared at the women's summit Monday, while Lighthizer was overseas to meet with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
"To me, a lot of that is consistent with my suspicion that the US doesn't really want to get a deal [or] at least the [Trump] administration doesn't", he said, citing the leaked off-the-record comments Mr. Trump gave Bloomberg in late August when he said he was refusing to compromise with Canada and that any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".
"We've taken those hits for team Canada, and we are determined that there be no further concessions on dairy", said David Wiens, vice president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
US farmers complain Canada is flooding export markets.
USA officials say time is running out to agree on a text on which the current Congress can vote.
With the Mexico deal in hand, and Trudeau publicly indicating that Canada's red-line issues are Chapter-19 and cultural industries, the Americans have considerable leverage, he added. "I think everybody is working towards a deal", said Flavio Volpe, president of Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. He said Canada and the United States spent a lot of time last week reconciling what the US and Mexico had already agreed upon.
A Canadian source with knowledge of the NAFTA discussions says an agreement is within reach, but getting there will require flexibility from all sides.
The hope is for a trilateral agreement in principle that Congress can approve before Mexico's new president takes office on December 1.
"And the word that continues to block the deal is m-i-l-k, OK?", Kudlow said during an appearance last week on "Varney & Co.", a Fox Business Network show.