Formal negotiations for Chile’s accession into Nafta will begin by June, according to Jonathan T. Fried, the lead counsel of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Speaking to the Canadian-American Society of the Southeastern United States in Atlanta Friday, Feb. 17, Mr. Fried outlined why Canada backs Chile, adding that Canada also supports entry of “other countries or groups of countries willing and able to undertake the obligations of Nafta and the side agreements.”

Calling Nafta “the best avenue for further trade and investment liberalization in the hemisphere,” Mr. Fried cited Chile’s record in recent years of pursuing market-based economic and fiscal reforms and its commitment “to transparent, rules-based and non-discriminatory regulation of trade, investment and intellectual property.