Dead­lines no rea­son to rush NAFTA deal, Trudeau says

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World -

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.

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