"You can't fix NAFTA without fixing issues with Canada", said Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade.
"So if we don't find some way to accommodate some of that, then we're not going to have a deal".
Mulroney, the former prime minister widely considered the father of the modern era of North American free trade, held court Tuesday in Ottawa on the fate of the intercontinental trade pact as talks to modernize NAFTA resumed on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"We're neighbours and neighbours help each other when they need help".
So far, Canada has been unable to obtain a guarantee from the United States that Canadians would not be hit with punitive USA auto tariffs if Ottawa agrees to a new NAFTA deal with Washington.
A Canadian source with knowledge of the NAFTA discussions said an agreement is within reach - but they stressed that getting there will require flexibility from all sides.
"We have been very clear on that, that there can not be more access given", Wiens said in a telephone interview.
The in-person, high-level negotiations got back underway as events marking the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks took place around the US, including at the Pentagon with Vice President Mike Pence, not far from where the trade meetings are taking place. Under U.S. trade negotiating laws, a text for that agreement is due by October 1. Eares are on the ground for United States and China developments but at the fore again was the NAFTA negotiations.
Wednesday was the first day that negotiations between the two countries resumed after four intensive days of talks last week ended without a deal on Friday after the mood soured.
Republican Tom Reed, a member of the Committee of ways and means of the House of representatives, said in a television interview broadcast on Sunday that provide a larger market access to u.s. dairy producers could appease president Donald Trump.
No word yet on when she might return to Washington to continue NAFTA talks.
"We're looking for a deal which is good for Canadians, which is good for Canadian workers, which is good for Canadian families (and) good for Canadian farmers", Freeland said on "The West Block". After more than a year of negotiations, Canada and the United States are still trying to resolve differences over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which also includes Mexico.
However, Trump hinted that the Friday deadline may be flexible, saying that a deal with Canada may come that day, or "within a period of time".
The hope is for a trilateral agreement in principle that Congress can approve before Mexico's new president takes office on December 1.