Although issues related to autos, such as the US push to boost North American content in vehicles, have been a major part of the negotiations, other issues, particularly a desire for more USA access to Canada's dairy market and Canadian insistence on maintaining NAFTA's dispute resolution system, are believed to be some of the major remaining sticking points.
"In some countries, including Canada, a tax on cars would be the ruination of the country.
Having said all of that, nothing is done until everything is done" - and that says it all really, but USA officials have said time is running out to agree on a text that can be signed by American, Canadian and Mexican leaders by November 30, before the current Mexican government leaves office.
Trump argues Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting USA farmers, an important political base for his Republican party.
Mulroney said Justin Trudeau phoned him last weekend to discuss the NAFTA situation and the two spoke for an hour.
Freeland and her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left the bargaining table last Friday without a deal following two weeks of what Freeland described as intense, but productive, negotiations.
"For this government to go out and be seen as giving too much to the American side on agriculture, and dairy in particular, would be ... nearly suicidal politically", Charest said. "Now, they've got to treat us fairly", he told reporters, and again threatened to impose duties on cars produced in Canada. President Donald Trump, in a story that appeared in Automotive News Canada, said Friday that while "I don't want to do anything bad to Canada".
Canada's dairy farmers believe they've already given enough to foreign producers in previous trade deals and aren't interested in ceding any more ground.
Trudeau meets on Tuesday with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, which suspect he might be ready to sell them out. However, no specifics on the progress made towards reaching an agreement have been announced.
"I think it is good for him in the short term".
"And one of the things that I think we are accomplishing in this agreement is a better deal for Canadian and USA workers in the auto sector".
"We've taken those hits for team Canada, and we are determined that there be no further concessions on dairy", said David Wiens, vice president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Wednesday was the first day that negotiations between the two countries resumed after four intensive days of talks last week ended without a deal on Friday after the mood soured. "That's not who we are", Craft said in prepared remarks. Eares are on the ground for USA and China developments but at the fore again was the NAFTA negotiations.
"There is no question Canada and Mexico are going to get a haircut and the best you can hope for when you get a haircut is that it looks stylish", Mr. Ujczo said.
Experts note that the desire to make a trade deal happen is influenced by upcoming political events, including the US midterm elections in November, a transition of presidential power in Mexico in December and next year's Canadian election.