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Austen, asked whether Freeland might return to Washington later in the week, said no decisions had been taken.

The two sides must submit an agreed-upon text to the U.S. Congress by October 1 in order to join the agreement the U.S. with Mexico last month.

Freeland said that discussions between U.S. and Canadian negotiating teams over the weekend were "constructive and productive", so she flew in for what may be the only a day of talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Canada's protected dairy industry is one of three sticking points in NAFTA talks between the two countries, along with a system for settling trade disputes and cultural protections for Canadian media firms.

Trump almost tore up the NAFTA pact previous year after visiting farmers in Wisconsin, a major US dairy producer that Washington says has been hurt by Canadian protectionism.

"Sure, it's business and it's important, but Gander is the place that - in a snapshot - illustrates the Canada-U.S. relationship".

While President Trump has promised "punitive tariffs" if a deal is not reached, Trudeau says that Canada will not bend to threats.

"Our farmers don't have access to the Canadian markets the way that they have access to us".

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expected Canada to also scrap a two-year-old pricing agreement that has restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products. Freeland said on Friday she and Lighthizer were making "very good progress" in talks to save NAFTA amid increasing Canadian optimism that a deal can be reached.

Freeland emerged after meeting with Lighthizer, saying talks were occurring in a "good" atmosphere. Lighthizer said on Monday Mexico had agreed to cut the mechanism but Canada wants to keep dispute resolution in NAFTA.

"Forget what you read about NAFTA negotiations and Twitter wars, that's not who we are", Craft told the gathered crowd as she thanked Canada - and Gander - for playing host in 2001 to countless stranded American air passengers. While Reuters reported on Tuesday that Canada is prepared to make concessions on the issue, it is likely to face opposition among supporters of Trudeau's Liberal Party in Ontario and Quebec.

Trudeau has said Canada could be willing to be flexible on dairy.

So far, Canada has been unable to obtain a guarantee from the United States that Canadians would not be hit with punitive USA auto tariffs if Ottawa agrees to a new NAFTA deal with Washington.

The announcement by the USA trade representative comes one week earlier than previously indicated. "We're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win, win, win that we know is there", he said in the interview. "The previous two trade deals gave away a little bit and a little bit more, and so we don't want to go down the path of death by a thousand cuts".

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