Canada’s ambassador to the United States said Monday he believes NAFTA negotiators can reach an agreement in principle by the end of March.
The upbeat assessment from envoy David MacNaughton comes in the face of the continuing threat from U.S. President Donald Trump to blow up the deal, which hangs over the final eight weeks in the current negotiating schedule.
MacNaughton refused to speculate on whether Trump is likely to pull out of NAFTA, but he said enough progress has been made on the “wiring and plumbing” of the agreement that all three countries can iron out their differences on the more substantial issues in the next two months.
“I would love to see a deal done,” the envoy said after an event in Ottawa with his U.S. counterpart, Kelly Craft. “We’ve made tremendous progress on some of the less spectacular things.”