Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sounded more like President Donald Trump when he said Canada will not be forced into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
Reuters reports on the unexpected statement in Hanoi Wednesday.
“Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interest of Canada and of Canadians,” said Trudeau at the news conference in Vietnam, where he is attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this week.
But Trudeau’s concerns — unlike Trump’s — don’t stem from any perception that the TPP is a bad trade deal. Trudeau thinks it should include special protection for the environment and recognize climate change while recognizing labor rights and gender equality, according to International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
Trudeau lauded the TPP agreement in a recent trip to Europe, but Wednesday’s comments are the first time the Canadian prime minister has expressed any doubt about staying with a trade deal that was ratified by the former Conservative government.
“Our ministers are very much engaged and working hard on this issue of TPP. It’s something Canada is, of course, very much engaged in discussion about — how we can move forward in a way that is beneficial to Canada and to our partners,” he said.
Although Trump led the U.S. to leave the agreement in January, other signatories have expressed their desire to stay committed to the trade deal. Before the APEC summit starts, trade ministers are negotiating in Da Nang in the hopes of producing an updated treaty that all interested parties can agree on.