Trade talks between the United States and Canada got off to a positive start on Wednesday with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland saying that she was optimistic now that issues related to auto-manufacturing have been resolved.
Freeland said Wednesday that the U.S. and Canada had “reached a high-level agreement” in the spring on automobiles and car parts. That agreement had not been previously disclosed. The new U.S. trade deal with Mexico increase the percentage of a car’s manufacturing that must be done in North America to 75 percent and requires that nearly half of the content be made by workers earning $16 per hour or more.
Freeland spoke to reporters outside the Office of the United States Trade Representative. She said she would be meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this evening.
The concessions Mexico made in negotiations with the U.S. will also benefit Canadian workers, Freeland said.
“Mexico has made some significant concessions which will be really good for Canadian workers,” she said. “On that basis, we are optimistic about having some really good productive conversations this week.”