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Trudeau Team Targets Pro-Nafta Republicans Ahead of Fresh Talks

January 9, 2018 by Josh Wingrove

Justin Trudeau’s lead Nafta minister is reaching out to many of the Republican senators urging the Trump administration to stave off the trade pact’s collapse.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met Tuesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a regular critic of the status quo for the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to a statement from her office.

With the sixth round of negotiations set to begin in two weeks in Montreal, Freeland was also due to meet with top Republicans who have publicly supported Nafta. They include Arizona’s Jeff Flake, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, according to a statement from Freeland spokesman Alex Lawrence.

Freeland was also due to meet Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Lawrence said.

A mini-round of Nafta talks in December yielded little progress and Trudeau says Nafta is the file that worries him most. Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay said Tuesday the chances of a Nafta withdrawal notice are rising.

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