Consul General of Canada in Detroit says NAFTA talks are 'starting to pick up momentum'

Canada's man in Detroit stopped in Windsor Monday to update members of the Rotary Club on the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

'Charm offensive' reminding Americans how much they rely on Canada

Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit, was in Windsor Monday to lead a talk on how the country can improve its relationship with the U.S. (Dan Taekema/CBC Windsor)

Canada's man in Detroit stopped in Windsor Monday to update members of the Rotary Club on the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

Douglas George is the Consul General of Canada in Detroit, the nation's head diplomat in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The former trade negotiator led a talk at the Caboto Club titled "How will Canada improve relations with the United States?"

George explained Canadian officials have been meeting with American representatives as part of a "charm offensive" meant to remind Americans about the important role Canada plays in their economy.

"For example in Michigan, it's the biggest two-way trade between Canada and the United States, nearly $72 billion a year," he explained. "There's 259,000 jobs just in Michigan depending on trade investment with Canada, nine million across the U.S. as a whole. So we're explaining why NAFTA is a benefit, why we want to keep it ... and modernize it."

George said he's barred from saying much about the ongoing negotiations, but did allow that he's seeing some positive signs.

"We're starting to pick up momentum and it's good. We're seeing how we can move forward."