Annoyed with Canada US trade czar floats idea of separate NAFTA deals

WASHINGTON — The United States trade czar is expressing frustration with Canada in the NAFTA negotiations.That’s according to a U.S. lawmaker who attended a meeting with him today.Congressman Ron Kind says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is even talking about finishing NAFTA negotiations with Mexico first, then doing a separate negotiation with Canada later.Kind is a Democrat and one of numerous lawmakers who attended a rare briefing with the U.S. trade representative on Capitol Hill.Three other congressmen who participated in the meeting didn’t confirm or deny Lighthizer’s comments. Lighthizer himself also refused to comment afterward.But some say Lighthizer’s remarks might be tactical — to simply up the pressure on Canada. Some Democrats called it strange to say things are going smoother with Mexico — when key issues related to labour costs and outscourced jobs have yet to be sorted out.