The U.S. Trade Representative's office told industry stakeholders over the weekend that Washington was on track to reach a deal with Ottawa by the end of Sunday, said people briefed on the matter.
Privately, some Canadian executives have expressed concerns to the Prime Minister's Office that Canada is spending political capital by tabling issues in trade talks that seem unlikely to resonate with U.S. President Donald Trump, such as gender, workers' rights and climate change, said three sources in business and government who were not authorized to speak about the discussions.
In exchange, USA negotiators have agreed to retain Chapter 19, the dispute resolution mechanism of NAFTA, and exemptions for Canadian creative industries. US officials have been keeping President Donald Trump in the loop on every step since Friday, but there was no plan as of 6 p.m.to go to the White House to brief him in person, two people said.
"Lots of progress but we're not there yet ... we still have a couple of tough issues, so we're doing our best", Canada's ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, told reporters outside the Ottawa building where Canadian officials are gathered.
Under US law, the White House is required to submit the text of the trade deal to Congress 60 days before signing - and officials barely made it by midnight. "The United States can not come to the game and bring their own umpire calling balls and strikes ... especially when we see that Trump is so capable of arbitrary behaviour", he said, noting that the U.S President has already cited what Mr. McKenna called "laughable" security issues as rationale for recent tariffs.
"In short, we think this is a fantastic agreement for the USA, but also for Canada and Mexico", said administration officials, who cheered the fact that USA dairy ranchers would soon have "substantial" expanded access to lucrative markets north of the border.
Trump, who has already imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, has also repeatedly threatened to impose even more crippling levies on auto imports if a deal can't get done.
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The three North American countries do about $1 trillion in trade among themselves annually.
One of the officials said the discussions between Canada and the US were ongoing, but progress was being made.
Most of the "substantive work" has been completed, with a "handful" of details remaining, the newspaper reported. Talks to revamp NAFTA began in August past year.
When that text is finally released, it would be advisable to evaluate it in relation to the progressive principles outlined in the Trade: time for a new vision The Alternative Trade Mandate report.
Current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office November 30 and therefore, the clock was ticking to get the deal done.
The Canadian source said Canada had agreed to a cap on its automotive exports to the United States in the event that the Trump administration imposes global autos tariffs on national security grounds.
Reaching a deal would remove a key irritant in the trading relationship between the US and Canada, its top export market.
U.S. business groups opposed turning NAFTA into a bilateral deal because the three nations' economies have become closely intertwined since the original pact came into force in 1994. Then it's likely to be taken up in Congress next year.