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Ahead of the first round of NAFTA renegotiations, Canada's federal Minister of Foreign Affairs has held a conference call with her provincial and territorial counterparts and hosted the first meeting of a new advisory council.
According to a statement issued by the federal Government on August 10, during the conference call Chrystia Freeland stressed that the renegotiation offers an opportunity to modernize and strengthen the agreement. Freeland also emphasized that Canada's objective is a modernized NAFTA that reflects the best interests of all Canadians.
Freeland told the provinces and territories that they have an integral role to play in the negotiations, and urged them to engage with their counterparts across North America. Canada's negotiating time will continue to work closely with provincial and territorial governments, the statement added.
Freeland also hosted the first meeting of the newly convened NAFTA Council on the same date. The Government has appointed 13 members to the Council, who are expected to provide opinions and feedback on the negotiations.
A Government statement said that Freeland told the Council that it is expected to provide unfiltered advice in advance of and during the negotiations. The Government wants to ensure that the negotiating team are in possession with a broad range of perspectives from across the country.
NAFTA talks are set to begin on August 16.
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