Through six rounds of renegotiation, NAFTA trade talks have been turbulent at times, often with the U.S. threat to withdraw looming large.

For Canadian negotiators, it means navigating a “get tough” attitude punctuated with punitive actions and threats of protectionism.

What’s real vs what’s rhetoric? Whether a NAFTA deal gets signed or not, what becomes of Canada-U.S. relations? And where does that leave Albertans?

Public policy expert Bob Murray believes that there may be reason for optimism. As the renegotiations move past the political theatre of the early rounds, there actually seems to be some progress on the substantive issues