Speech in Ottawa to outline priorities before key NAFTA talks in Washington

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'We're in this for all Canadians:' Freeland on modernizing NAFTA – Aug 14, 2017

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will give some idea of what Canada’s priorities will be in renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

She’s going to give a speech in Ottawa this morning just days before Canadian negotiators sit down with their American and Mexican counterparts in Washington.

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A senior government official tells The Canadian Press that the speech will provide more details on Ottawa’s NAFTA priorities. But the official says Freeland is unlikely to lay out too many details at this stage.

The priorities will include a desire for new sections in the agreement covering labour and the environment.

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Some officials have said there is good reason for new labour protections – increased wages in Mexico would narrow the gap in labour costs, making it more attractive to invest in auto plants in Canada and the U-S.

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Canada has also repeatedly pushed for extending its Buy American exemptions for national public-works projects, to the state and local level.

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