WASHINGTON — The three NAFTA countries are making one final push for an agreement this spring.Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are meeting today in Washington.

The lead political ministers are starting what could be a multi−day round aimed at securing an agreement. If an agreement doesn’t happen soon, some feel it won’t happen this year at all: Mexico and the U.S. will both be immersed in national election campaigns through most of 2018.

Today’s meetings began with an early−afternoon encounter between the lead ministers for Mexico and the U.S., in an effort to clear away the big issue separating those two countries: auto parts.

Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, is scheduled to meet her U.S. counterpart later in the day. A big unknown question looming over these talks is what the U.S. would do after it gets a deal on autos — and whether it would opt for a quick agreement, or keep negotiating hard.

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