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The Canadian Government has announced the creation of a new NAFTA Council, which will support it in preparing for, and during, the renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement.
The Government has appointed 13 members of the NAFTA Council. The members are expected to provide opinions and feedback on the negotiations. The aim is to ensure that Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister and negotiating team can avail of a broad range of perspectives from across Canada.
The members are expected to be in post for a year. NAFTA talks are set to begin on August 16.
Canada has also announced the appointment of three new consuls general in US cities, and a new deputy ambassador to be posted to Washington DC. The Government said that the consuls general will promote Canadian interests and bolster Canada's presence and profile in key centers across the US.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said: "A constructive working relationship between Canada and the United States is essential to good, middle-class jobs and economic opportunities on both sides of the border. Our focus is squarely on our shared prosperity and economic well-being."
"With the expansion of our consular presence in the United States, and the creation of the NAFTA Council, we are furthering Canada's determination to promote Canadian interests and values in our bilateral relations with our main economic partner."
The US and Mexico are respectively Canada's first and third largest merchandise trading partners, with trilateral trade reaching nearly USD1 trillion in 2016. Around 400,000 people and over CAD2.4bn (USD1.9bn) worth of goods and services cross the Canada-US border daily.
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