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NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE TALKS BEGIN IN TORONTO

The United States, Canada, and Mexico began negotiations Wednesday to create a North American free trade zone covering 360 million consumers from the Yukon to the Yucatan. In the first round of talks, negotiators planned to set a timetable and a structure for further discussions. The whole process is expected to last at least 18 months.

US Trade Representative Carla Hills, Canadian Trade Minister Michael Wilson, and Mexican Trade Minister Jaime Serra Puche attended the first meeting, along with the chief negotiators from each country.

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The next meeting will take place in Seattle on Aug. 20. Further talks will rotate between the three countries.