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Why Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland’s the top player on NAFTA talks, and Trade Minister Champagne’s not

By Samantha Wright Allen      

Observers say François-Philippe Champagne has plenty on his plate with markets outside the U.S., while Chrystia Freeland is uniquely qualified to deal with NAFTA and the protectionist U.S. administration.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has the U.S. trade file as she oversees NAFTA renegotiations, while Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne has the rest of the world, one observer noted. The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia and file photograph
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It’s "highly unusual” to have a trade minister tasked to manage all files except the relationship with Canada’s largest trading partner, but observers say the tactic is fitting given the major NAFTA talks, general trade shakeup under U.S. President Donald Trump, and an outgoing star minister best suited for the job. The North American Free Trade Agreement is at a scale that demands singular attention, and keeping Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale, Ont.) on the file makes sense as she

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