The Telegram (St. John's)

First round of NAFTA negotiatio­ns set to run Aug. 16-20

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OTTAWA — The first round of negotiatio­ns on a new North American Free Trade Agreement will take place Aug. 16-20.

U.S. Trade Representa­tive Robert Lighthizer has announced that the initial talks between American, Canadian and Mexican negotiator­s are to take place in Washington, D.C.

He’s also announced that John Melle, assistant U.S. trade representa­tive for the Western Hemisphere, will be the chief negotiator for the Americans. The announceme­nt follows a meeting of mid-level officials from all three countries in Washington on Monday to arrange the logistics of the negotiatio­ns.

The United States initiated the process for renegotiat­ing the 23-year-old trilateral trade agreement in May, in keeping with President Donald Trump’s promise to get a better deal for his country. This week, the Trump administra­tion also released its set of priorities for the talks, and there is pressure on Canadian lawmakers to do the same.

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