"We recognize that there is a possibility of getting there by Friday, but it is only a possibility because it will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada", he said at a news conference in northern Ontario on Wednesday.
Negotiations entered a crucial phase this week after the United States and Mexico announced a bilateral deal on Monday, paving the way for Canada to rejoin talks to salvage the 24-year-old accord that accounts for over $1 trillion in annual trade. "We really like a deal with them".
As she emerged from the high-stakes meeting with her USA counterpart Wednesday in Washington, Freeland emphasized the "compromises" by Mexico in their bilateral trade deal with the U.S.to increase the wages of its auto workers.
Freeland has credited the Mexicans for their hard decision to compromise on labour and wages as part of its auto rules of origin talks with the USA, saying it has cleared the way for more substantive talks between Washington and Ottawa.
"We are now going to devote long hours to the negotiation with Canada", he said.
"I look forward to reviewing the details of today's announcement and continuing to work with USTR [United States Trade Representative] to resolve these issues so that a revamped NAFTA can pass Congress and become law", he said in a statement.
The U.S. may have shown the willingness to concede in its negotiations with Mexico, but this will not be the case with China.
For now, Canadian negotiators are primarily focused on bilateral talks with the Americans.
Canada's main stock index opened higher on August 28 on the prospect of Ottawa reaching a deal this week, before dipping.
Despite the optimism, there are some sticking points.
Trump has warned he could try to proceed with a deal with Mexico alone and levy tariffs on Canadian-made cars if Ottawa does not come on board, although USA lawmakers have said ratifying a bilateral deal would not be easy. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Monday that Mexico had agreed to eliminate the mechanism.
Ottawa is also ready to make concessions on Canada's protected dairy market in a bid to save a dispute-settlement system, The Globe and Mail reported late on Tuesday.
The U.S. has demanded that Canada move off its line on both issues as well as others.
"It seems like a pretty steep challenge to now resolve these issues in three days", said David Wiens, a Manitoba dairy farmer and vice president of industry group Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Freeland said Canada was "extremely involved" in the progress that was made between the US and Mexico over the summer.
Trump has set a Friday deadline for the three countries to reach an agreement, which would allow Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign it before he leaves office at the end of November.
If talks with Canada are not wrapped up by the end of this week, Trump plans to notify Congress that he has reached a deal with Mexico, but would be open to Canada joining, Lighthizer said on August 27. "No NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal".