With NAFTA in limbo, Canadian officials meet with Mexico’s incoming president

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OTTAWA – A trio of Trudeau cabinet ministers are sitting down today with the man elected to be Mexico’s next president hoping to find some common ground in NAFTA talks.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and International Trade Minister Jim Carr are meeting with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City, a day before his representatives travel to the U.S. to talk to American trade negotiators.

READ MORE: Canada’s new export minister says we have other options than the U.S. when it comes to trade

Lopez Obrador and his top officials say talks about trade in North America must involve Mexico, the United States and Canada, eschewing the idea of a one-on-one deal with the Americans.

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This week, Lopez Obrador and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged letters outlining interest in finalizing a renewed North American free trade pact as quickly as possible.

READ MORE: Donald Trump urges moving ‘quickly’ on new NAFTA in letter to Mexico’s incoming president

Analysts say the Canadian ministers could find an ally in Lopez Obrador as they navigate through the NAFTA negotiations that have stalled over thorny issues and are darkened by tit-for-tat tariffs.

While experts believe it’s unlikely that Lopez Obrador would do a trade deal with Trump absent Canada, they aren’t ruling it out entirely.

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