Deadlines no reason to rush NAFTA deal, Trudeau says
SASKATOON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is brushing aside pressure for his government to finalize a renewed free trade deal with the United States before the end the month.
Ottawa and Washington are working to reach an agreement that needs to be submitted to the U.S. Congress before October in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico in August.
Trudeau says Canada’s negotiators have seen multiple deadlines imposed on talks, only to see negotiations continue long past them.
Speaking to reporters at a caucus retreat, the prime minister says negotiators will work to finalize an agreement before the end of the month, but plan to make sure they get the right deal for Canadians, not just any deal.
“We have seen various deadlines put forward as markers to work for,” Trudeau said. “We’re going to continue to work toward the right deal for Canadian.”
He said that the Liberals will stay focused on NAFTA talks, started last year at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump, to strengthen “the most successful trading relationship perhaps in the world.”
The outcome of negotiations, now in their 13th month, will determine the economic and trade relationship between the three North American countries, with the prospects of numerous workers and industries hanging in the balance.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Trump mused about renaming the trade pact “USMC” — with M referring to Mexico and C for Canada — based on his disdain for the NAFTA moniker.